Keeping reptiles


The keeping of reptiles is a legitimate activity in Victoria and provided for under the Wildlife Act 1975 and Wildlife Regulations 2013

Under the regulations, people are permitted to keep a number of different species of reptiles in Victoria. This Code is intended to complement the requirements of individuals under legislation so that people keeping reptiles do so in a manner that meets minimum standards of animal welfare appropriate for the species concerned.

Keepers must possess a basic knowledge of the biological, nutritional and environmental requirements of reptiles. This is a prerequisite for successful maintenance of captive reptiles because the majority of diseases observed in these animals are precipitated by environmental stress and inadequate husbandry.

All persons involved in the husbandry of reptiles, and especially snakes, should be familiar with appropriate handling techniques through demonstrated experience, appropriate training courses or attendance at approved reptile holding establishments. Visit to learn more about how to care for and keep reptiles.

You will need to apply for a wildlife licence from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to keep native reptiles. These animals must be obtained from legal sources and bred in captivity. It is illegal to take animals from the wild.

The minimum age for applicants is 10 years of age. Applicants under 18 years of age will need the signed consent of their parent or legal guardian.

The illegal sale of exotic reptiles species should be reported to biosecurity officers at the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) on 136 186.