Interested in owning a reptile? It’s important to ensure you abide by the licensing laws in your state. Here’s what you need to know.

If you’re thinking of owning a reptile, there are a few things you need to be aware of to ensure you’re ticking all the appropriate legal boxes. Firstly, owning a non-native reptile is illegal, so you can scratch that Burmese Python off your list. Native reptile ownership is the only way to legally own a reptile in Australia, yet it is regulated.

Reptile licences in New South Wales

In New South Wales, native reptiles are protected by law. It’s illegal to take a reptile from the wild or release an unwanted one back into the wild. If you want to purchase a reptile, it needs to be bought from a licensed dealer or broker. Licensing helps protect our species and keeps owners and their animals safe. In NSW, there are different licences depending on the type of reptile and how many of them you’d like to keep. Learn more here.

Reptile licences in Queensland

In Queensland, a recreation wildlife licence is required, depending on the type of wildlife you’re hoping to keep. Strict conditions apply that prohibit the owner from breeding their wildlife or selling or giving away wildlife that is held under the permit. Learn more here.

Reptile licences in Victoria

In Victoria, there are four licence types to suit the variety of wildlife (and reptiles) that can be kept. Plus, there are some types of wildlife that can be kept without a permit (such as the spotted grass frog or the Eastern blue-tongued lizard). For other reptiles, though, it’s important to refer to the Wildlife Regulations of 2013 to determine which licence you need for your reptile. Learn more here.

Reptile licences in South Australia

In South Australia, it’s the Department for Environment and Water that regulates the ownership of native animals, including reptiles. You will need a permit if you want to keep a native animal in captivity. The permit system is there to protect native animals from being illegally acquired and sold into captivity. Learn more here.

Reptile licences in Australian Capital Territory

In the ACT, the majority of reptiles are protected and under the Nature Conservation Act 1980, however, there are some species that are exempt from licensing regulation. Whether it is protected or not, it is illegal to capture a native species in the wild and put it in captivity. Learn more here.

Reptile licences in Western Australia

In Western Australia, the regulation of wildlife is under the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions. Again, whether or not the reptile you’re interested in owning is regulated, depends on the species. Learn more here.

Reptile licences in the Northern Territory

In the Northern Territory, as in most of Australia, the majority of reptiles require a permit in order to be kept as a pet in captivity. However, there are some species that are exempt. Learn more here.

Reptile licences in Tasmania

In Tasmania, reptiles and amphibians are protected under the Nature Conservation Act 2002 and the Threatened Species Act 1995. There are a few exceptions – frog eggs and tadpoles can be collected without a permit. But if a tadpole becomes a frog that is not a common froglet or brown tree frog, it needs to be returned to the body of water it came from. Other reptiles will need permits. Learn more here.

If you have any further questions about owning a reptile, feel free to chat to your local Petbarn team member in-store.