Keeping exotic animals as pets in Queensland

If you are moving to Queensland or are considering buying an exotic animal to keep as a pet, it is important to know which animals you are allowed to keep as pets. Some animals are illegal to keep in Queensland.

Some introduced animals, have become serious pests in Queensland that attack pets and damage crops, the environment and the economy.

Prohibited mammals, reptiles and amphibians

You are not allowed to keep prohibited animals as a pet in Queensland. Penalties apply for keeping a prohibited pet in Queensland. These include:

Pet's you can't keep  booklet (PDF, 18MB)

Contact the Department of Environment and Science for advice about keeping native birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and water buffalo. If you are moving to Queensland and own a prohibited pet, you can surrender it to Biosecurity Queensland or local government. For example; rabbits are legal pets in NSW so you may wish to leave it with a friend before you move.

Prohibited marine pests and fish

Marine pests are controlled by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. Certain introduced freshwater fish are declared noxious in Queensland and cannot be brought into the state. A fine also applies to the keeping or releasing noxious fish species.


Some exotic and native birds may be kept privately in Queensland. Some species may be kept without a licence, whereas others may only be kept with an appropriate licence. Contact the Department of Environment and Science for further information.

If you intend to keep 100 or more poultry, including caged birds, you will need to register your property.

Bees and bee equipment

You may not bring live bees or used bee equipment into Queensland from Tasmania. Bee products such as comb or pollen must be frozen for 24 hours prior to entering Queensland and you must have a health certificate.

Horses, pigs and other livestock

If you keep one or more horses, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, buffalo, deer or camelids (camels, llama, alpaca), you will need to register your property.

Once registered, your property will have a unique property identification code (PIC). This code is necessary for maintaining property and livestock records as part of the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS).

If you are moving livestock into Queensland from another state, you will need to ensure you have the correct paperwork and meet Queensland's entry requirements before moving the animals.

You will need to be aware of your legal responsibilities if you are moving cattle through Queensland cattle tick zones.

Cats, dogs and other common pets

There are no restrictions on cats, dogs, guinea pigs, rats, mice and axolotl (walking fish).