You need an animal dealer (live reptile) licence, a class of biodiversity conservation licence granted under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, to buy, sell or trade (deal in) live native reptiles for commercial purposes.
Under the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment policy on the commercial trade of native animals, only pet shops are eligible for an animal dealer licence. A pet shop is defined as a premises used for the retail sale of animals to the public, excluding residential premises. The dealing of native reptiles as part of a commercial business is not permitted under a reptile keeper licence.
Pet shops dealing in native reptiles must be registered with the Department – when you apply for a licence you must nominate the premises you intend to use for dealing. If you are granted a licence, you will receive a registration certificate for each of the premises associated with your licence. As a licence holder, you may also apply for additional registration certificates for temporary stalls at approved reptile expos.
Under an animal dealer (live reptile) licence, pet shops may only deal in a limited number of reptile species. View the reptile species that can be traded by an animal dealer.
As part of the application process, you will be required to demonstrate appropriate knowledge and skills in keeping the native reptiles that can be traded. The native reptiles to be traded at your pet shop must be kept in the care of at least one person who has at least 3 years relevant experience with the reptile species being traded.
Apply for a licence
Getting an animal dealer (live reptile) licence and registration certificate for your premises involves a 3-step application process:
- complete an application form
- complete a written knowledge test
- have your proposed premises inspected.
The application process will take at least 6 weeks at a minimum. This timeframe is dependent on you satisfactorily completing the application form, written test and having your premises at a standard suitable for trade.
The licence term is 3 years and licence will cost $2400 including a single registered premises – there is a $780 fee for each additional premises to be registered under the licence.
Comply with licence conditions
When you hold a licence to deal in native animals you must comply with the conditions of the animal dealer (live reptile) licence (PDF 72KB).
Some of the licence conditions included are:
- Animals may only be bought from persons licensed to keep them.
- When selling species that require a keeper's licence, the customer's licence must be sighted and their details recorded.
- Records of all animals held must be maintained and submitted to the Wildlife Team on an annual basis, including records of:
- the species and number of animals acquired, disposed of or moved
- the date and method of acquisition, disposal or movement of animals
- the name and licence number of persons from whom animals are bought or sold.
- Dealers must accept returns of unwanted or unhealthy animals no longer wanted by a customer. This requirement must be displayed at each registered premises in a conspicuous location.
- Dealers must comply with the enclosure size and equipment requirements specified on their licence.
- Dealers must maintain a register of persons employed at the pet shop operating under the licence, including, at all times, a person or persons with 3 years relevant experience for the species authorised to trade under the licence.
Licensed dealers must also comply with the Department of Primary Industries Animal Welfare Code of Practice – Animals in Pet Shops issued under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 and subject to inspections by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).
Licensed dealers should also be familiar with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Code of practice for the private keeping of reptiles.
On the expiration of your licence the onus is on you to renew. While the Department forwards licence renewal notices to licensees, it will not be responsible for the non-receipt of such a notice.
Renewals cost $2050 (including a single registered premises) for 3 years with a $450 fee for each additional premises.
Renewal of your licence is dependent upon submission of your annual records.
Species that can be traded by licensed reptile dealers
The commercial trade of native animals policy allows 15 reptile species to be traded by licensed animal dealers.
Other licence types you may need
As a licensed animal dealer, if you intend to import native reptiles into New South Wales or export them out of the state as part of carrying on your business as a dealer, you will need to apply for an import/export licence each time you intend to transport a consignment interstate.
Licensed animal dealers in New South Wales
There are currently 9 pet shops in New South Wales licensed to deal in live native reptiles.