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Topics > Plants & animals > Permits & licences

Native animals in captivity

Many thousands of South Australians derive a great deal of enjoyment, understanding and appreciation for native animals from keeping, or interacting with, captive native animals.

You must have a permit to keep and sell most native animals held in captivity in South Australia. A permit is also required to keep five or more eggs of protected animals or if you wish to farm emus in captivity.

The Keep and Sell Permit system is regulated by the department. It places restrictions on the keeping of protected animals in captivity as well as certain dealings involving protected animals. This system helps us make sure that certain standards for animal possession, care and public safety are met.

The Keep and Sell Permit system places all captive native animals into one of four categories:

  • Unprotected (no permit required to keep)
  • Exempt (no permit required to keep)
  • Basic (permit required to keep and sell - species usually easy to keep in captivity)
  • Specialist (permit required to keep and sell - species require special feeding and housing).

People who keep native animals as a hobby need a Keep and Sell Permit (Basic or Specialist). People who carry on a business involving the buying and selling of native animals (Basic or Specialist) require a Fauna Dealer Permit.

The department also regulates the movement of captive native animals into and out of South Australia. Tracking the movement of captive native animals helps us make sure that native animals are being legally obtained and traded. If you wish to transport captive native animals in or out of South Australia you will need an Import or Export Permit.

For further information or to determine whether you need a permit, please contact:

DEW Fauna Permits Unit
Phone: (+61 8) 8124 4972

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