Wildlife in commercial films

Written permission is needed to use wildlife (whether whole or part, living or dead) in commercial films.

Wildlife can be adversely affected by filming and photography. These activities can:

  • cause stress
  • result in animals getting injured when frightened by activities
  • habituate wildlife to the presence of humans which can then pose risks for their future wellbeing.

Commercial films as defined in the Wildlife Regulations includes but is not limited to, commercial films, theatrical productions, television productions, and advertisements.

Application process

Licensed Wildlife Displayers, Demonstrators or Taxidermists who'd like to provide wildlife for use in a commercial film must apply for permission, 6-8 weeks in advance.

A licensed Wildlife Displayer, Demonstrator or Taxidermist may provide wildlife for use commercial films, in accordance with their wildlife licence conditions. Licence-holders require prior written approval before allowing wildlife to be used in a commercial film.

Download and submit your application:

For more information, contact our Customer Service Centre:

Animal welfare

You must also comply with all requirements of relevant animal welfare Codes of Practice.

Filming wildlife in the wild

Specific written authorisation is not required under the Wildlife Act 1975 to film wildlife in the wild, provided the wildlife is not in any way confined, controlled, deliberately disturbed or manipulated during filming.  Permission may be required from the relevant land manager.

Reviewed 30 June 2021

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