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Department of Lands and Forestry

Captive Wildlife Permit

Who Needs This Permit?
Anyone who wants to keep live wildlife, either native or "exotic" (that is, not native to Nova Scotia), in captivity in Nova Scotia.

Note: The keeping of sick or injured wildlife is covered by the Permit to Operate a Rehabilitation Facility Application.

Note: Some "exotic" species (animals not native to Nova Scotia) are now being bred as pets, and do not require this permit. Contact the Department representatives listed below for further information.

Issuing Department / Agency:
N.S. Department of Lands and Forestry

Where can you get this Permit and / or further information?
Any of the Local or Area Offices of the N.S. Department of Lands and Forestry. (See Offices, N.S. Department of Lands and Forestry.)
Application Forms & Process:
Application can be made in person or by phone at the nearest Regional or Area Office of the N.S. Department of Lands and Forestry.

The facilities will then be inspected by a N.S. Department of Lands and Forestry Biologist or their designate.

Permits may be denied if prohibited by municipal bylaws.

If all requirements are met and the application is approved, the applicant will be notified by the District Supervisor.

Waiting Period:
5 business days
Expiry & Renewal:
This permit is valid for 1 year from the date it is issued. It can be renewed, and the renewal time is 1 year from the date it was first issued. The renewal process is started by the permit holder before it expires.

Price:
Free

Related Requirements:
  1. Anyone wishing to keep or rehabilitate migratory birds will be directed to the Canadian Wildlife Service.

  2. Persons wishing to keep native species of fish will be referred to a federal fishery officer, Department of Fisheries and Oceans (Canada).
Additional Information:
  1. The Department of Lands and Forestry does not encourage the keeping of native wildlife as pets. Permits to do that will only be issued for animals which, for one reason or another, cannot be returned to the wild.

  2. These permits are not required for most exotic wildlife purchased through bona fide pet stores. The need to obtain a permit will depend upon the species of animal.

  3. Each permit contains terms and conditions specific to each species.

  4. Persons may only possess captive wildlife if they possess a:
    1. Wildlife Parks Licence, N.S. Dept. of Lands and Forestry; or
    2. Game Farm Licence, N.S. Dept. of Agriculture and Fisheries, or
    3. Wildlife: Scientific Permit, N.S. Dept. of Lands and Forestry or
    4. Pheasant Preserve Licence, N.S. Dept. of Lands and Forestry; or
    5. Falconry Permit, N.S. Dept. of Lands and Forestry; or
    6. Fur Farming Licence, N.S. Dept. of Agriculture and Fisheries under the Agriculture and Fisheries Act.

  5. This permit does not entitle the holder to buy, sell, trade or give away any wildlife or progeny thereof. This would require a Game Farm Licence.

  6. This permit may be revoked at any time.
See also:
Wildlife Import Permit, N.S. Dept. of Lands and Forestry
Wildlife Export Permit, N.S. Dept. of Lands and Forestry
Legislative Authority:
Wildlife Act, Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1989, Chapter 504, Section 62

General Wildlife Regulations, Section 5, 6




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