Maintain a licence

When you hold a licence to keep native animals you must meet licence conditions and keep your licence up to date.

Maintaining a current biodiversity conservation licence under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 is an important part of being a good native animal keeper.

The licence validity period depends on the option you chose on your application. The expiry date is printed on your licence.

Comply with licence conditions

Keeping native animals as pets requires you to meet certain conditions under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.

It’s important you understand and meet the conditions of your licence. These may differ depending on the type of biodiversity conservation licence you hold.

The Office of Environment and Heritage conducts random audits of its licence holders to ensure the licence conditions are being met.

To qualify for renewal you need to comply with the conditions for keeping native animals as stated on your existing licence. 

Sample Conditions for a Companion Native Animal Keeper Licence

1. This class of biodiversity conservation licence granted under Part 2 of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act) only authorises the possession of one native animal as listed on this licence.

2. No additional native animals may be obtained under the provisions of this licence.

3. This licence authorises possession of one companion native animal only at the nominated premises. The companion native animal the subject of this licence may be removed from the nominated premises without the Chief Executive’s prior consent only for the purposes of veterinary treatment; for disposal/sale; or for a period not exceeding 72 hours for the purpose of attendance at a meeting, or for participation in a competitive show. The display of the companion native animal at such meetings, or competitive shows must not include public display or exhibit that would be in conflict with the provisions of the Exhibited Animals Protection Act,1986. In all other cases, the licensee shall forward to the Chief Executive in writing within 7 days, notification of the address of the premises at which the companion native animal is to be removed to and the reason for its removal.

4. The licensee shall dispose of the companion native animal only with the prior written consent of the Chief Executive.

5. The licensee shall notify the Chief Executive in writing within 14 days of the death of a companion native animal held under this licence.

6. Receipt of the companion native animal must be supported by documentary evidence (such as a signed and dated receipt), to verify its lawful acquisition. Such evidence must be made available for inspection to an officer of Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH). It is the licensee’s responsibility to verify the identity of the supplier and that the person holds a licence that permits possession and disposal of the native animal being acquired.

7. This licence does not authorise commercial trade in native animals or exercising or carrying on the business of buying or selling native animals.

8. As required under Part 12 of the BC Act, the licensee will permit the inspection by an authorised officer of OEH of the companion native animal held and the holding facilities for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of the BC Act, the regulations and the conditions of this licence.

9. The nominated premises must at all times comply with applicable statutory provisions and consents relating to occupational health and safety, building and health requirements.

10. No animal held under this licence shall be placed on public display, or be exhibited in any way, except as provided in condition 3 above, or be held in or on any commercial premises.

11. If keeping birds, the licensee must comply with the NSW Animal Welfare Code of Practice No 4 – Keeping and Trading of Birdspublished by the Department of Primary Industry, at all times. Reptiles, amphibians and mammals must only be held in accordance with the conditions and instructions contained in the OEH current year publication NSW Native Animal Keepers’ Species List.

12. All companion native animals must be housed in an escape-proof enclosure and in a manner so as not to be of any danger or nuisance to the public.

13. The Chief Executive may cancel, suspend or refuse to renew this licence:

(a) on the grounds that the licensee has failed to comply with conditions of the licence;

(b) on the grounds that the licensee has failed to apply to renew the licence 3 months after the licence expired;

(c) on the grounds that the licensee has been convicted of an offence under the BC Act or regulations relating to native animals;

(d) on the grounds that the licensee has made a statement that the licensee knows, or ought reasonably to know, is false or misleading in, or in connection with, the application for the licence, or

(e) in any other case as may be determined by the Chief Executive.

14. The Chief Executive may publish a list of companion protected native animal keepers’ licences which have been suspended, cancelled or have expired. This list will include the licence number [and may include details of animals which were authorised to be kept under the licence] but will not include other personal information about the licensee.

General conditions of a NSW Native Animal Keeper Licence

1. This class of biodiversity conservation licence granted under Part 2 of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 authorises possession of native animals only at the nominated premises. Native animals (the subject of this licence) may be removed from the nominated premises without the Chief Executive’s prior consent only for the purposes of veterinary treatment; for disposal/sale; or for a period not exceeding 72 hours for the purpose of attendance at a meeting, or for participation in a competitive show (such meetings or competitive shows, must not include public display or exhibit that would be in conflict with the provisions of the Exhibited Animals Protection Act, 1986. In all other cases, the licensee shall forward in writing within 7 days to the Chief Executive, notification of the address of the premises at which the protected native animals are to be removed and held and the purpose of the removal from the nominated premises named above.

2. The licensee shall acquire native animals (that may be held under this licence) only from a person who is the holder of a current licence issued by the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) that authorises possession and disposal of those protected native animals, or from an appropriately licensed person interstate via an interstate import licence issued by OEH, or in any other case, only with the prior written consent of the Chief Executive.

3. Acquisition of all native animals must be supported by documentary evidence such as a signed and dated receipt, to verify its lawful acquisition. Such evidence must be made available for inspection by an officer of the OEH. It is the licensee’s responsibility to verify the identity of the supplier and that the person holds a licence that permits possession and disposal of the native animals being acquired.

4. The licensee shall dispose of protected native animals (that may be held under this licence) only to a person who is the holder of a current licence issued by OEH that authorises the possession and acquisition of those native animals, or to an appropriately licensed person interstate via an export licence issued by OEH, or in any other case, only with the prior written consent of the Chief Executive.

5. The licensee shall keep at the nominated premises, a true and accurate record in the native animal keeper record book supplied, for each of the holder’s acquisitions (including native animals bred – see below) and disposals (including death and escape) of native animals. The record shall be completed in accordance with the instructions contained in the native animal keeper record book.

6. The record referred to in condition 5, shall be made in the native animal keeper record book immediately following each acquisition or disposal. In the case of native animals bred by the licensee, the record is to be completed within 7 days of birth or hatching for reptiles and mammals. For birds, the record shall be made within 7 days from fledgling. For amphibians, the record shall be made within 7 days of resorption of the tadpole’s tail.

7. The record keeping period ends on 31 March each year. At this time each completed page of the native animal keeper record book referred to in condition 5 must be signed and dated by the licensee and shall be forwarded and received by the Chief Executive each year by 30 April. A licensee who has held no protected native animals during the record keeping period shall forward a written statement to that effect to the Chief Executive by 30 April. The licensee shall also present the record referred to in Condition 5 to the Chief Executive or to an officer of OEH whenever required.

8. This licence does not authorise commercial trade in native animals or exercising or carrying on the business of buying or selling native animals.

9. The licensee, if advertising the disposal or acquisition of native animals the subject of this licence, may only advertise such animals for disposal or acquisition in a publication of a society of keepers of animals authorised to be held under this licence of which the licensee is a member, or in a specialist publication, journal or internet site related to the keeping of the animal. In all cases the licensee shall state the following in such an advertisement when advertising the disposal or acquisition of protected native animals:

a) The holder’s Native Animal Keeper Licence number;

b) That the native animals involved are only available for purchase or disposal to the holder of a current Native Animal Keeper Licence or other relevant licence authorising the possession or disposal of those native animals.

10. The licensee shall not dispose of a native animal within a period of 6 months from the date of its acquisition. This condition does not apply to native animals bred by the licensee.

11. As required under Part 12 of the BC Act the licensee will permit the inspection by an authorised officer of the OEH of all native animals held and their holding facilities for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of the BC Act the regulations and the conditions of this licence.

12. The nominated premises must at all times comply with applicable statutory provisions and consents relating to occupational health and safety, building and health requirements.

13. No native animal held under this licence shall be placed on public display or be exhibited in any way (except as provided in condition 1 above), or be held in or on any commercial premises.

14. A licensee who acquires or disposes of a native species of Cockatoo listed under ‘basic animals’ in the NSW Native Animal Keepers’ Species List or any species of animal listed under ‘advanced animals’ of the NSW Native Animal Keepers’ Species List must notify the Chief Executive in writing of the details of the transaction within 14 days of the transaction taking place and the total number of that species held after the transaction.

15. This condition relates to the possession and trade of broad headed snakes, Hoplocephalus bungaroides:

a) the licensee must notify the Chief Executive in writing within 14 days of any disposal by any means including, but not limited to, death, export or escape and provide details of the disposal including a copy of the animal keeper record book page, name and licence number of the parties involved and the microchip number of the relevant broad headed snake;

b) the licensee must notify the Chief Executive in writing within 14 days of any acquisition by any means including, but not limited to, purchase, import or breeding event and provide details of the acquisition including a copy of the animal keeper record book page, name and licence number of the parties involved and the microchip number of the relevant broad headed snake;

c) the licensee must provide details of microchip numbers to the other party when disposing of a broad headed snake;

d) where broad headed snakes are imported or bred, the licensee must make the relevant broad headed snake available to be microchipped and have a DNA sample taken from the broad headed snake (OEH will contact the licensee to make such arrangements for this requirement).

16. Where eggs, chicks, young adults of any native animal are removed from the nominated premises or are received at the nominated premises for incubation, hand-raising, a breeding loan or other purpose, such movement is to be recorded in the native animal keeper record book. Any such eggs, chicks or young that do not hatch or that die are to be recorded as deaths. Eggs, chicks or young may only be transferred to or be held on premises that are registered under a current Native Animal Keeper Licence, authorising that class of animal.

17. If keeping birds, the licensee must comply with the NSW Animal Welfare Code of Practice No 4 – Keeping and Trading of Birds, published by the Department of Primary Industry, at all times. Emus can only be held in accordance with the conditions and instructions contained in the NSW OEH publication NSW Native Animal Keepers’ Species List. Dangerous and venomous reptiles must only be held in accordance with conditions and instructions contained in this licence and in the OEH application form titled ‘Advanced Class – Native Animal Keeper Licence’.

18. All native animals must be housed in escape-proof enclosures and in a manner so as not to be of any danger or nuisance to the public.

19. The Chief Executive may cancel, suspend or refuse to renew this licence:

a) on the grounds that the licensee has failed to comply with conditions of the licence;

b) on the grounds that the licensee has failed to apply to renew the licence 2 months after the licence expired;

c) on the grounds that the licensee has been convicted of an offence under the BC Act or regulations relating to native animals;

d) on the grounds that the licensee has made a statement that the licensee knows, or ought reasonably to know, is false or misleading in, or in connection with, the application for the licence; or

e) in any other case as may be determined by the Chief Executive.

The Chief Executive may publish a list of native animal keeper licences which have been suspended, cancelled or have expired. This list will include the licence number [and may include details of animals which were authorised to be kept under the licence] but will not include other personal information about the licensee.