Animal Licence Holder Responsibilities

Keeping of animals

Under the Nature Conservation Act 2014 you are required by law to be the holder of a licence for ALL animals, dead or alive, (whole or parts thereof) except for those on the Exempt List.

When you are the keeper of animals that require a licence under the the Nature Conservation Act 2014 you are required to keep prescribed records. If you are the holder of:

  • any non-exempt animals;
  • protected native animals; or
  • special protection status animals

you must keep records as prescribed on an ACT Record book worksheet (Word 62KB).

Private Keeper Licences are issued for a period of three years, and are renewable. In this renewal process, you must:

  • submit an Application for Renewal to Licensing and Compliance before the expiry date of your licence;
  • attach any records that are prescribed to be kept (details provided below);
  • attach a money order, cheque, or credit card details; and
  • in the case of no longer keeping an animal, notify Licensing and Compliance immediately, returning the completed records and record book.

A licence is not required to keep, possess, breed, buy, sell or dispose of species listed on the Exempt List. However, the animals must come from a legal source, and may not be taken, or come from the wild.

For any licensing enquiries please email or phone 02 62076376.

Importing and exporting animals into and out of the ACT

A separate licence to import or export is required on each separate occasion.

Selling animals

Private keepers must obtain a licence to sell prior to the selling, trading, or disposing of any animals in the ACT (including by donation).

What records do I keep?

You are required by law to keep the following records for each and every animal:

  • A record of the number, species and sex of the animal.
  • If you import/export to/from the ACT, buy or sell trade or otherwise dispose of an animal from or to another person (including pet shops etc), or your animal dies or escapes:
  • a record of the number, species and sex of the animal;
  • a record of the date of receipt, transfer, death or escape of the animal; and
  • a record of the name and address of the person buying or receiving the animal (and their licence number to keep or sell). These records must be presented to a Conservation Officer on request. Conservation Officers may enter your land or premises and inspect animals and records without notice. It is your responsibility to ensure that your records are accurate and up-to-date.

Why do I have to keep records?

The illicit international and domestic animal trade is a problem in Australia. Heavy fines may be incurred if prescribed records are not completed. With your assistance, Licensing and Compliance can play its part in the national role of stamping out the illicit animal trade.


Under the Nature Conservation Act 2014 there are heavy fines for failing to obtain relevant licences for animals and the associated activities, and for failing to complete or submit records. Fines of up to ;$15,000 for an individual or $75,000 for a corporation and/or 12 months imprisonment can be incurred. If you have any questions about any animal or activity, please contact Licensing and Compliance for advice. This is your responsibility.

How long does it take to obtain a licence?

Please allow up to 28 days.

Address all correspondence to:

Licensing Officer
Licensing and Compliance
ACT Parks and Conservation Service
Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate
PO Box 158
Canberra City ACT 2601

Phone: 02 6207 6376