Under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002 (the Act), the keeping of most exotic animals as pets is prohibited in Queensland. Zoos and circuses can keep certain exotic species for exhibition purposes, but only under permit and under strict conditions of keeping.
In other countries numerous species that are derived from the pet trade have become serious pests. Examples include various lizards, snakes, frogs, salamanders, toads, turtles, chipmunks, hedgehogs and caimans.
For this reason, keeping many species of exotic animals as pets is prohibited by legislation.
Native animals as pets:
Some native animals can be kept under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and the Nature Conservation Regulation 1994. Marsupials and monotremes cannot be kept except for rehabilitation purposes. Permits are required to keep most species of reptiles and amphibians and some birds. Contact the Department of Environment and Heritage (DEHP) if unsure of permit requirements.
It is not a direct offence under current legislation for a veterinarian to treat an illegally kept pet, as the owner of the pet has legal responsibility for the animal. The veterinarian may choose to advise the owner of the possible repercussions of illegally keeping a declared pest animals. Animals can be seized and destroyed under the Act and the owner may be prosecuted.
However the legislation prohibits keeping, feeding, releasing or supplying a declared pest animal. This means that the following examples are all offences under the legislation:
Some species may be legally kept interstate but are not permitted in Queensland. Even if the owner holds a permit in another State, if the owner brings the animal into Queensland without reasonable excuse, the animal may be legally seized.
For all enquires, please phone 13 25 23 and ask to speak to the local Invasive Plants and Animals Biosecurity Officer