Catch and release reptiles

The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment may issue a licence to suitably qualified people to catch and release reptiles.

A biodiversity conservation licence can be granted under Part 2 of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 that allows handlers to legally catch and release reptiles (usually snakes) from commercial and residential homes and backyards. Reptile handlers operate under strict licence conditions to ensure human safety and animal welfare.

Licence requirements

Applicants for a catch and release reptile licence need to apply to the Department and demonstrate and/or provide:

  • they are 18 years or over in age
  • why a licence should be granted and describe the location/area where they will operate
  • 2 written references from people who can validate their ability and experience
  • they hold a current first aid certificate, public liability insurance
  • evidence that you have completed a recognised reptile handling course or have at least 2 years proven experience in handling venomous snakes.

Licence conditions and application forms

Removing a snake from your home or garden

The safest thing to do is not to try and handle or kill the snake. Keep children and pets well away. Contact a local reptile handler or wildlife rehabilitation group. They will remove the snake from your home or garden.

This list provides details of licensed reptile handler operators who have provided consent for their contact information to be made available to the public.

Area licensed to operate in Licensee name Contact number
Greater Sydney Branch John Mostyn 0416 922 282
Blue Mountains Region, Central Coast Hunter Region, Harbour and Illawarra areas Terry Behman 1300 149 549
Sydney Area Charles Acheson 0417 776 226
Byron Bay, Tweed Susan Johnson 0428 771 223
Central Coast Tina Chenery 0425 237 682
Coffs Coast Stephen McEwan 0411 648 562
6651 5244
Cumberland, Upper Mountains, Kanangra and Hawkesbury Areas Neville Burns 0400 661 378
Forbes Area Paul Newcombe 0424 522 608
Hunter Region, Central Coast, Great Lakes Barry Martin 0429 325 905
Hunter Region, Central Coast, Great Lakes Areas Judith Martin 0429 325 905
Hunter Region Justin Lantry 0408 301 544
Illawarra-Highlands and Hawkesbury-Nattai Areas, including the Macarthur area Cory Kerewaro 0455 570 000
Kanangra, Upper Mountains and Hawkesbury-Nattai Areas Julia McConnell 0400 960 696
Hastings-Macleay and Manning-Great Lakes Brenton Asquith 0434 490 133
Manning-Hastings Area Stuart Johnson 0450 430 480
Nowra and Ulladulla Areas Ian Ross 0438 608 556
Shoalhaven Area Shaun Armstrong 0481 811 855
Shoalhaven Area Peter Newans 0431 455 790
Sydney Metro Benjamin Harvey 0414 200 273
Sydney Area-Harbour South Bruce Shillingford 0416 286 848
Sydney Area Sean Cade 0410 761 575
Lower Hunter, Barrington Tops and Wollemi Yengo Gary Bear 0421 911 940
Cumberland and Hawkesbury-Nattai Areas Jake Cooper 0430 536 516
Upper and Lower Hunter Areas Peter Bryant 0427 280 300
Upper Hunter Christopher Day 0487 271 768
Illawarra and Southern Highlands Glen Peacock 0418 162 441
Alpine-Queanbeyan, Central, North, Ulladulla and Murrumbidgee areas Alexander Borg Caruana 0421 281 439
Illawarra and Southern Highlands areas Raymond McGibbon 0400 734 225
Illawarra-Highlands Sam Jaye 0416 079 449
Canberra surrounds Gavin John Douglas Smith 0450 210 090
Gillieston Heights, Kurri Kurri, Maitland, Rutherford, Morpeth, Cessnock, Singleton Gavin Dodds 0427 631 806
Central Coast Jaimie De-Vere-Bertles 043 828 0168
Ulladulla/Nowra Ian Ross 043 860 8556
Hawkesbury Brett Pasfield 0409 199 456
Sydney Area Craig Soffer 041 536 9271
Bega Valley and surrounds Phillip Sproates 043 580 4191
Tweed Shire Neil Walker 0422 131 528