Commercial trade of protected native animals: Policy directive

The purpose of this policy directive is to help regulate the commercial trade of live native animals so that the conservation risks are minimised and the welfare requirements of captive animals are met.

Are you aware of upcoming changes to wildlife licensing?


The Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 is scheduled to commence from 25 August 2017.

Existing wildlife licence classes, conditions and fees will remain in place after the Act begins.

Proposed changes to wildlife licensing under the new Act will be exhibited for public comment in the second half of 2017. These changes are expected to be taken up during 2018.

Learn more about the wildlife licensing reforms.

The policy informs prospective commercial operators and hobbyists holding an Animal Keeper Licence or Companion Animal Licence of the regulatory requirements that are needed when trading in native reptiles and birds as a commercial business.

Key elements of the policy

The following summarises the policy and the conditions attached to animal dealer licences:

  • Under Part 2 of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 ( BC Act), OEH may grant an animal dealer licence, a class of biodiversity conservation licence, to allow a person to commercially trade in traditionally traded native bird species and a limited number of reptile species.
  • The business of an animal dealer can only be carried out at the premises specified on the animal dealer's registration certificate. In the case of reptiles, this can only be a pet shop as defined in the policy.
  • Prospective animal dealers will be required to demonstrate appropriate knowledge and skills in keeping native animals prior to the issue of a licence by OEH, and demonstrate compliance with the conditions of their licence and the Animal Welfare Code of Practice – Animals in Pet Shops, which is administered by the Department of Primary Industries.
  • All reptiles traded at a registered premises must be kept in the care of a person who can demonstrate that they have at least three years relevant experience.
  • An animal dealer must accept the return of any reptile purchased from them at no cost to the purchaser. This requirement must be displayed at each registered premises in a conspicuous location.
  • An animal dealer is required to keep an ongoing record of any purchases, sales or movements of animals in a format prescribed by OEH.
  • The commercial trade of native amphibians and mammals is not permitted in NSW.

For detailed information on the policy, download a full copy, together with related documents, including the OEH response to frequently asked questions about animal dealer reptiles licences.

Sample licences and conditions

When applying for a licence to commercially trade in reptiles and birds, first read the licence conditions and premises registration certificate conditions to ensure compliance with the conditions required to be an animal dealer (reptiles) (PDF 145KB) or animal dealer (birds) (PDF 119KB).

Animal dealer licences

To apply for a licence to commercially trade in reptiles and birds, access all the relevant information on forms, fees and requirements for obtaining an animal dealer licence for reptiles and birds.

Apply for an animal dealer licence for reptiles or birds.

Licensed animal dealers in NSW

Documents to download

More information

Page last updated: 28 August 2017