Animal dealers (reptiles): frequently asked questions

I own a pet shop and would like to sell native reptiles, but I haven't installed any enclosures yet. Can I still apply for an animal dealer licence?

Yes. In the application you will be asked to provide a floor plan of your premises, indicating the proposed location of enclosures. You will also be asked to provide diagrams of the different types of enclosure you intend to use. You don't need to have enclosures installed at this stage.

If your application receives provisional approval, an OEH officer will contact you to arrange a time for an on-site inspection. The officer will be assessing your readiness to trade live native reptiles. It is therefore necessary for you to have reptile enclosures installed and operational at the time of inspection. You will be allowed a maximum of 3 months from the time your application is provisionally approved to the time of inspection.

I have an animal keeper’s licence. Can I run a breeding enterprise selling reptiles to hobbyists?

No. The sale of live native reptiles as part of a commercial business is not permitted under an animal keeper's licence. This licence enables hobbyists to maintain private reptile collections by buying animals, breeding animals and selling unwanted animals.

To trade reptiles commercially you will need to obtain an animal dealer’s licence.

I want to trade in reptiles from a modified room in my home. Is this possible?

No. An animal dealer licence is only available to those who intend to trade live native reptiles through a pet shop. The definition of a pet shop is provided in the OEH Commercial Trade of Native Animals: Policy Directive.

How should I prepare for the written knowledge test?

The knowledge test is divided into three parts: the regulatory system, basic reptile husbandry and species identification.

To prepare for the test’s regulatory section, you should read the OEH Commercial Trade of Native Animals: Policy Directive, sample Animal Dealer Licence and Registration Certificate (PDF 145KB) , the DPI Animal Welfare Code of Practice – Animals in Pet Shops and the OEH Code of Practice for the Private Keeping of Reptiles.

To prepare for the husbandry section of the test, you will require a basic understanding of reptile husbandry, particularly for the species permitted to be traded in a pet shop. There are a number of good books and care sheets on keeping Australian reptiles.

In the final section, you will have to correctly identify a number of tradeable and non-tradeable species from photographs. Field guide books or reptile keeping books are a good source of information on identifying features for different species.

How long does it take the OEH Wildlife Team to process an animal dealer licence application including completing the written test component and pre-licence premises inspection?

Assessing your written application may take up to four weeks. If the application is approved, you will have up to one week to complete the test. An OEH officer will then contact you to arrange a time for the inspection. If you consider your premises to be ready for trade, the inspection can occur that week. If not, you have up to 3 months to prepare your pet shop for trade.

How do I know if a pet shop is licensed to sell native reptiles?

The pet shop will have a copy of their premises registration certificate in a prominent location. If you can’t see these documents, ask one of the shop staff for assistance.

I want to buy a native reptile from a licensed pet shop but I don't have a licence, what do I need to do?

Licences can be obtained ‘on-the-spot’ through Service NSW. If you intend keeping one animal only, you can apply for a five-year companion animal keeper licence. However, if you want to keep more than one animal, you will need a native animal keeper licence, which requires you to keep an ongoing record of your collection. Go to our native animal keeper page for more information about licensing.

You are not permitted to take possession of the reptile until the licence has been issued.

Where can an animal dealer advertise birds or reptiles under their control?

OEH does not place any restrictions on how and where a licensed animal dealer can advertise animals for sale.

What is the cost of an animal dealer licence to commercially trade in live native reptiles?

The maximum term for an animal dealer licence is three (3) years. The application fee for an animal dealer licence for one premises including a registration certificate is $2400. An additional fee of $780 applies for each additional registration certificate. There is a $2050 licence renewal fee with a fee of $450 for each additional premises. All fees are non-refundable.

Page last updated: 28 August 2017