Captive breeding programs

If you want to export for commercial purposes an Australian native animal specimen (unless exempt) and/or CITES-listed specimen sourced in Australia, it must come from an approved program such as an approved captive breeding program. You can seek an export permit from the federal environment department (applicants still have to apply and be assessed as suitable under the national environment law).

Commercial trade in live native mammals, reptiles, birds and amphibians is not permitted.

Approved captive breeding programs

The captive breeding programs that are currently approved under national environment law are listed below. Captive breeding programs do not have an expiry date but are generally reviewed after five years to establish whether the programs are still operational and continue to meet legal requirements.

Current captive breeding programs
State Program name Decision date Review due Species (follow link for complete species list)
Programs approved for individual operations
Qld Mr Stephen Hey June 2013 June 2018
NSW Ecogrow Pty Ltd December 2012 December 2017
Qld Aesthetic Australian Insects June 2009 June 2014
Qld Australian Butterfly Sanctuary June 2008 June 2013
  • Birdwing Butterfly (Ornithoptera priamus)
  • Ulysses Butterfly (Papilio ulysses)
Qld Australian Insect Farm April 2009 April 2014
Qld Australian Venom Zoo September 2008 September 2013
Qld Butterfly Encounters March 2013 March 2018
Qld Daintree Entomological Museum August 2007 August 2012
  • Birdwing Butterfly (Ornithoptera priamus)
  • Ulysses Butterfly (Papilio ulysses joesa)
Qld Silke Weyland March 2012 March 2017
SA Seahorse Marine Services August 2010 August 2013
SA Venom Supplies August 2011 August 2016
  • Monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia)
  • Indo-Chinese cobra (Naja siamensis)
  • King cobra (Ophiophagus Hannah)
Programs approved for state licensed operations
NSW State licensing regime for emus March 2009 March 2014
  • Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)
Qld State licensing regime for emus March 2009 March 2014
  • Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)
Qld State Licensing regime for crocodiles January 2002 Under review
  • Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)
SA State licensing regime for emus March 2009 March 2014
  • Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)
Tas State licensing regime for emus March 2009 March 2014
  • Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)
Vic State licensing regime for emus April 2009 April 2014
  • Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)
WA State licensing regime for emus March 2009 March 2014
  • Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)

Commercial trade in CITES Appendix I listed animals is prohibited, unless the animals are captive bred and sourced from a captive breeding operation that has been registered with the CITES Secretariat. The CITES Secretariat maintains a list of registered operations . Currently, Australia does not have any captive breeding operations registered with the CITES Secretariat.

Application form and guidelines

Applying for approval of a captive breeding program

If you would like your operation to be included in the list of approved captive breeding programs, use the form below to apply for an approved captive breeding program.

Guidelines, approval processes and submission details are all included with the form.