Private wildlife licences
In Victoria, it is possible for amateur enthusiasts to keep a range of wildlife at home.
Types of private wildlife licences
There are four types of private wildlife licences available:
- Other wildlife
- Further information about applying for a private wildlife licence
- Once you have your wildlife licence
To apply for a Wildlife Basic Licence, Wildlife Advanced Licence or a Wildlife Specimen Licence, please use the following application form:
Application forms can also be obtained by calling the DEPI Customer Service Centre on 136 186.
Further information on the different types of private wildlife licences and their associated obligations and conditions can be found in the Guide to Keeping Wildlife in Victoria for Private Purposes and in the Guide to Keeping Dingoes in Victoria for Private Purposes which are attached to application form.
The Wildlife Regulations 2013 are available on the Australasian Legal Information Institute website.
This type of licence authorises the holder to possess, keep, breed, buy, sell and dispose of wildlife listed in schedules 2 and 7 of the Wildlife Regulations 2013 for non-commercial purposes.
The minimum age for applicants is 10 years of age. However, applicants under 18 years of age will need the signed consent of their parent or legal guardian.
A Wildlife Basic Licence is available for one or three years and have a common expiry date of either 30 September 2014 or September 2016.
This type of licence authorises the holder to possess, keep, breed, buy, sell and dispose of wildlife listed in schedules 2, 3 and 7 of the Wildlife Regulations 2013.
The minimum age for applicants is 10 years of age. However, applicants under 18 years of age will need the signed consent of their parent or legal guardian. Applicants under the age of 18 wishing to keep venomous snakes must provide documentary evidence of competency in the handling of venomous snakes with their application.
A Wildlife Advanced Licence is available for one or three years and have a common expiry date of either 30 September 2014 or September 2016.
This type of licence authorises the holder to possess, keep, buy, sell and dispose of prepared or mounted specimens of dead wildlife.
A Wildlife Specimen Licence is available only for three years. Licences issued in 2013 have a common expiry date of 30 September 2016.
Under the Wildlife Regulations 2013, any person keeping dingoes privately now requires a Dingo Licence. Any person or business demonstrating or displaying dingoes requires a commercial wildlife licence.
A Dingo Licence only applies to the keeping of pure dingoes. The keeping of hybrid animals does not require a wildlife licence but are required to be registered and managed as dogs under the Domestic Animals Act 1994 and local laws.
(If you currently hold a permit to keep a dingo under Section 28A of the Wildlife Act 1975, your permit will remain valid until the specified expiry date of 30 June 2015. However, you will need to apply for a Dingo Licence prior to this date.)
A Dingo Licence authorises the holder to:
- possess, keep, breed, buy, sell and dispose of dingoes for private purposes, and
- possess any dingo at other sites for the non-commercial purposes of exercising, obedience training, education, or display at shows conducted by a canine association.
Please note that dingo enclosures must be constructed prior to an application for the Dingo Licence. Applicants for a dingo licence must be 18 years of age or older.
A Dingo Licence is available only for one year. Licences issued in 2013 have a common expiry date of 30 September 2016.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ) on keeping dingoes
Standards for keeping dingoes
A wildlife licence is not required to keep wildlife listed in the following document for private purposes provided the animals have been acquired lawfully and have not been taken from the wild.
A licence is not required to possess processed wildlife products (such as leather goods) derived from the following wildlife:
- freshwater or saltwater crocodile
- common brushtail possum
- eastern or western grey kangaroo
- whiptail, euro or red-necked wallaby
- red kangaroo
- Tasmanian pademelon.
This exemption does not apply to preserved or mounted specimens prepared by a taxidermist.
Applications must include payment and be witnessed by an approved person once you have provided proof of your identity.
The following people are authorised to witness your application for a wildlife licence:
|a Dentist||a Bail Justice or Sheriff||a Postmaster|
|a Justice of the Peace||a Veterinary Surgeon||a Barrister or Solicitor|
|a Member of the Police||a Bank Manager||a Pharmacist|
|a Chartered Accountant||a Clerk of Courts or Petty Sessions||a Medical Practitioner|
|a Minister of Religion authorised to celebrate marriages||a teacher with over 5 years of experience||a Public Servant with over 5 years of experience|
|a Town Clerk or Shire Secretary||a Judge or Stipendiary Magistrate||a Councillor of a Municipality|
Applicants should allow at least three weeks for an application to be processed, however, please allow 60 days for a Dingo Licence. You must not proceed to acquire any wildlife until you have received and signed your licence.
Send your completed forms with payment to:
PO BOX 500
East Melbourne 8002
The following table is the annual cost for each type of private wildlife licence – this information should be used as a guide only, as the licence fee is pro-rata by month. Discounts apply for licences issued for three years. For a more accurate estimate, please refer to the application form.
1 Year Wildlife Licence
|Type of Licence||
Wildlife Basic Licence
Wildlife Advanced Licence
Anyone holding a current Commonwealth Health Card is eligible for a concession on the cost of a private wildlife licence in accordance with the provisions of the State Concessions Act 2004.
Details about eligible concession cards are available from the Department of Human Services.
Once you have received and signed your licence, you are able to acquire wildlife from the schedules listed on the licence.
The Victorian Bureau of Animal Welfare has several voluntary codes of practice with minimum standards and practices for keeping a wide range of wildlife including amphibians, birds and reptiles.
Further information can be found on the Bureau of Animal Welfare webpages.
Any wildlife being held under a private wildlife licence must remain at the premises specified in the licence, unless going to or returning from a veterinarian, or subject to a legal trade. The only exception to this is a dingo licence, where the holder may possess dingoes at other sites for the purposes of exercising, obedience training, non-commercial education or display at a canine show. Only one address can be specified on a licence.
There are four key record keeping requirements required as condition of a wildlife licence:
- Informing DEPI of any changes in your personal details that are recorded on your licence (including name, contact details and address). If there details are incorrect, please complete and return the Licence Amendment Form below. An amended licence will be posted to you. You must notify DEPI within 10 business days of any changes.
- Maintaining accurate records of wildlife transactions. When you receiver your licence, you will also receive a Record Book. All wildlife transactions must be recorded in your Record Book.
- Informing DEPI if your wildlife has escaped or been stolen, or if your Record Book is missing or has been destroyed. You must report these issues within 2 business days of becoming aware of the loss. If you report theft of wildlife to the police, you should retain a copy of any police report.
- Submitting an annual Return Form. You must submit a completed Return Form by no later than 14 April each year, detailing wildlife in your possession and any transactions which occurred during the 12 month period ending 31 March. A copy of a Return Form can be found on the back of your licence or can be downloaded below:
Failure to keep accurate and up-to-date records is an offence under the Wildlife Act 1975.
Renewing your wildlife licence
Renewal of a wildlife licence is conditional upon submission of a Return Form. Licence holders who meet this requirement will receive a renewal notice approximately four to six weeks before their licence expires on 30 September.
For more information about private wildlife licences, please contact the DEPI Customer Service Centre on 136 186.