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Private licence obligations and record keeping

The rules for holders of a private wildlife licence.

Licence conditions

It is the licence holder’s obligation to understand and abide by the conditions of their licence and the rules established by Wildlife Regulations 2013 and the Wildlife Act 1975.

Once you have received and signed your private wildlife licence and record book, you are able to acquire wildlife.

Under your licence, you may only possess species which are listed in the schedules of the licence.

Wildlife may only be acquired from other licence holders. You cannot take wildlife from the wild.

Sick, injured or orphaned wildlife 

If you find sick, injured or orphaned wildlife, it must be handed to an authorised wildlife shelter for care and rehabilitation for release back to the wild. 

Specified premises

Any wildlife being held under a private wildlife licence must be kept at the address on the licence. The only exception is if the licence holder is going to or returning from a veterinarian or is trading an animal with another licence holder. 

The only exception to this is a dingo licence. The holder may take dingoes to other sites for non-commercial purposes of exercise, obedience training, education or display at a canine show.

If you are going away and want to transfer your wildlife to another appropriately licensed person to look after, this must be recorded as a transaction in your record book.

If you are going interstate and are planning to take your wildlife with you, an Export Permit is required.

If the person looking after your wildlife holds either a basic or advanced Licence and intends to return your wildlife to you within 6 months, you will need to obtain prior written approval from the Conservation Regulator at wildlifelicensing@delwp.vic.gov.au

If a person is looking after the wildlife at the address specified on your licence, no action is required.

Only one address can be specified on a licence.

Record keeping

Four key record keeping obligations are required as a condition of a wildlife licence. Failure to keep accurate and up-to-date records is an offence under the Wildlife Act 1975.

Annual return forms

  • You must submit a completed return form no later than 14 April each year.
  • This return must detail any wildlife in your possession.
  • and include any transactions which occurred during the 12 month period ending 31 March.

Even if you have not kept any wildlife or no longer have any wildlife in your possession on 31 March, you must still complete a return form.

How do I find a return form?

Return forms can be found on the back of your licence or can be downloaded below.

You must keep a copy of your completed return form

Changes in personal details

You must inform the Conservation Regulator of any changes in your personal details that are recorded on your licence (including name, contact details and address).

If the details are incorrect, please complete and return the licence amendment form below. An amended licence will be posted to you. You must notify the Conservation Regulator within 10 business days of any changes.

Record book

Maintaining accurate and complete records of wildlife transactions. When you receive your licence, you will also receive a Record Book.

All wildlife transactions must be recorded in your record book by the close of the same business day.

Entries must be permanent and legible. Record books must not be tampered with – this includes erasing, or editing entries, removing pages, or damaging your Record Book in any way.

You must ensure that your record book is kept safe and secure at all times. Licence holders must report damaged, lost and stolen record books.

The record book remains the property of the Conservation Regulator. If you choose not to renew or if you surrender your wildlife, your record book must be returned to the Conservation Regulator within 10 business days.

All wildlife transactions must be recorded in your record book.

Escaped or stolen wildlife or lost record book

You must inform the Conservation Regulator 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.

Renewing your wildlife licence

Licence holders will receive a renewal notice approximately 4 to 6 weeks before their licence expires on 30 September of the relevant year.

  • The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions has a number of mandatory and voluntary codes of practice which have minimum standards and practices for keeping wildlife.  Mandatory codes of practice include:

    • Code of Practice for the keeping of amphibians in captivity
    • Code of Practice for the housing of caged birds
    • Code of Practice for the welfare of animals: private keeping of reptiles
    • Code of Practice for the public display and exhibition of animals

    Holders of a Wildlife Dealer Licence operating from a pet shop are also subject to the Code of Practice for the Operation of Pet Shops.

    Further information can be found on the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions website, or by calling 136 186.

Reviewed 30 June 2021

Contact us

Conservation Regulator

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