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Farming certain wildlife

General information

A wildlife farming licence issued under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (PDF) is required to keep, breed and use emus, crocodiles, butterflies, venomous snakes and water buffalos in Queensland. These are the only wildlife that can be farmed in Queensland.

You can also read the legislation online by visiting the Office of Queensland Parliamentary Counsel website.

For information about animal industries, visit the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website.

Pre-lodgement service

The department offers a service to guide applicants through the assessment process. The service includes meeting with a departmental project manager to discuss the information that must be provided with your application.

This service can be initiated by contacting Permit and Licence Management or by email at or completing a Pre-design conference application form (Word, 107K)*. If a meeting is required to discuss your application in more detail, a departmental officer will contact you directly.

Permits and approvals

To apply for this type of licence, you need to lodge a completed application form.

There are additional legal requirements for farming wildlife for meat production for human consumption or for the use of animal products (including venom) for medicinal or therapeutic purposes. You should make sure that you discuss any such proposal with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries or the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) if required. Failure to engage these departments during the concept phase may delay your activities.

There are two codes of practice adopted under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 concerning wildlife farming. If you get a wildlife farming licence for emus or crocodiles, you will have to comply with these codes:

In addition to the code of practice, there is the Crocodile Farming Compliance Plan 2016. While intended for internal Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) use, farms can also use this as a guide. The Crocodile Farm Compliance Plan 2016 outlines EHP’s approach to compliance which supports departmental obligations under the Nature Conservation Act 1992, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and the Wildlife Trade Management Plan - Queensland Crocodile Farming (2014-2017). The Crocodile Farm Compliance Checklist will be used by departmental officers for inspections.

Forms and fees

Please download an application form; contact Permit and Licence Management or email for assistance.

* Requires Microsoft Office files viewer

Last updated
23 May 2016