Keeping venomous snakes as pets
Permits for venomous snakes
Venomous snakes can be very dangerous.
You need a permit to keep any venomous snake in the Northern Territory (NT).
The category of the permit depends on the level of danger attached to a species.
There are three permit categories for keeping venomous snakes:
- Category 1 – mildly dangerous venomous.
- Category 2 – dangerous venomous.
- Category 3 – highly dangerous venomous.
When you apply for a permit to keep a venomous snake, you need to consider all of the following:
- your property will be inspected by Parks and Wildlife staff to see if it is suitable for a venomous snake
- you may need approvals from your local council, the Department of Health or the Department of Lands, Planning and the Environment
- you must get your snake from a legal source that has a permit
- your permit does not let you remove snakes from the wild
- allow five days to process a Category 1 permit
- allow two weeks to process a Category 2 and 3 permit.
If you want to import or export a snake you will need a separate permit.
Snakes you can't keep
For medical reasons you can't get a permit to keep any of the following snake families in the NT:
- copperhead snakes
- broad-headed snakes
- tiger snakes
- rough-scaled snake
- eastern small-eyed snake.
Exotic snakes, venomous or non-venomous, can't be kept by private permit holders in the NT.
Last updated: 05 February 2019
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