Licence to carve emu eggs

Find out how to apply for a licence to carve or decorate emu eggs.

Emu egg carving Kalti Paarti The art of carving emu eggs, known as Kalti Paarti, became popular in the 19th century and is still highly valued today.

Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artists scratch, scrape or carve away the outer layers of shell to reveal shades of blue, blue-green, brown, grey and white.

Emus are protected in New South Wales under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act).

When you need a licence

You need a licence, granted under the BC Act, to obtain captive-sourced emu eggs to carve or decorate and sell. It is illegal to collect emu eggs from the wild.

An emu egg carving licence allows you to:

  • obtain infertile or blown emu eggs from captive sources, such as emu farms, animal parks or zoos
  • carve or decorate captive-sourced eggs
  • sell your carved or decorated eggs.

When you don't need a licence

You don’t need a licence to buy carved or decorated emu eggs from an artist or shop, but you should check to see whether the egg was legally sourced.

When you buy a carved or decorated emu egg look for:

  • the artist’s licence number, written or etched on the egg (e.g. MWL009999)
  • the licence number of the emu farmer, animal park or zoo, written or etched on the egg (e.g. L00500).

Apply for an emu egg carving licence

To apply for a licence, download and fill out the emu Emu Egg Carving Licence Application Form PDF 40KB) and return it via:

Applicants must nominate the premises where eggs will be carved and/or decorated.

A licence will cost $30 and the licence term is 5 years.

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

Renew or end a licence

We will contact you to remind you to renew your licence before your licence expiry date. 

Renewals cost $30 for 5 years.

Renewal of your licence is dependent upon submission of a report of your activities.

Record keeping and reporting

When you renew or end your licence you must submit a report to show how many eggs you bought and sold, and where you sourced them during the licence period.

The Wildlife Team will provide you with a reporting template. Email:

If you fail to provide records you may have your licence renewal application refused.

Comply with licence conditions

When you hold a licence to carve or decorate emu eggs to sell you must comply with the Emu Egg Carving Licence Conditions (PDF 37KB).