Taxidermy licence

Find out how to apply for a licence to preserve and mount an animal for study or display.

Ringtail possum pseudocheirus peregrinusTaxidermy involves preparing the skins of animals to create lifelike models for display. Knowledge of animal anatomy, technical skill and artistic talent are needed to do this work.

Professional taxidermists supply preserved animals to museums and other research and educational organisations, and to hunters and fishers. Taxidermy is also practised as a hobby.

The taxidermy process usually starts with skinning an animal. The skin is then tanned (treated) and fitted over an artificial body made from carved foam or sculpted wire. Clay and wax are used to reproduce soft tissues and glass eyes are added.

Get your licence

Professional and amateur taxidermists need a licence to carry out taxidermy, and anyone wanting to keep preserved specimens of native animals or animal parts (like eggs, claws or bones) also needs a licence.

You need a licence to carry out taxidermy on or to keep preserved specimens of:

For threatened species or birds of prey (such as eagles or owls), a licence will only be issued for scientific or educational uses, for example, to keep at a school or other educational facility.

If you want to use animals or animal parts to make jewellery, handicrafts or artwork that may be sold or displayed, please first contact the Wildlife Team for advice on 02 9585 6406 or wildlife.licensing@environment.nsw.gov.au.

Note that removing and preserving any animal or animal part from a national park or nature reserve without authorisation is illegal.

You do not need a licence to:

  • hold specimens of or to carry out taxidermy on non-native animals, for example, foxes, pigs or goats
  • hold processed animal products, such as appropriately tagged kangaroo skins.

Professional taxidermists may sell or trade specimens they have prepared under licence

If you have a licence to hold a preserved species but do not want to keep the specimen, you are not permitted to sell or trade it.

Contact the Wildlife Team for advice:

Phone: 02 9585 6406

Email: wildlife.licensing@environment.nsw.gov.au.

Apply for a taxidermy licence

To apply for a licence, download the taxidermy and preserved specimen licence application form (PDF 117KB) and return it via email to: wildlife.licensing@environment.nsw.gov.au.

There is a $30 application fee.

If you are applying to carry out taxidermy, please support your application with details of any of your earlier work, including photographs.

Please allow enough time for your application to be assessed and processed.

Renew your licence

Before renewing your licence you must submit a report to us listing the specimens you hold, where they were sourced, and any that have been sold or traded.

Write your report, then complete the taxidermy and preserved specimen licence renewal form (PDF 176KB), and return both documents via email to: wildlife.licensing@environment.nsw.gov.au.

There is a $30 renewal fee.