Legislation and standards for exhibiting animals

A number of state and national laws apply to exhibiting animals in Queensland. For example category C animals are regulated under the Biosecurity Act 2014 and some aspects may apply to licensed exhibitors. Exhibitors are also subject to the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 which details how animals should be cared for.

In Queensland, you must meet the minimum animal welfare requirements detailed in legislation and relevant standards and codes of practice when keeping and exhibiting animals. If there are no specific codes in Queensland, you may refer to New South Wales codes for exhibiting animals.

The Exhibited Animals Act 2015 (the Act) supports a risk-based approach to exhibiting and dealing with animals. You must provide management plans demonstrating how you will meet your exhibition and dealing obligations to animal welfare, biosecurity and safety. For example, by documenting equivalent or better welfare outcomes than in existing recognised standards or codes of practice.

Standards and guidelines

The Australian Animal Welfare standards and guidelines for exhibited animals have been endorsed by the Agricultural Ministers Forum (AGMIN) and are referred to when applying to exhibit and deal with animals in Queensland.

There is 1 general standard and 5 animal standards that address requirements for:

  • macropods
  • koalas
  • ratites
  • crocodiles
  • wombats.

Consultation for the adoption of these standards as codes of practice ran from 30 October to 4 December 2023.


You must pay fees under the Exhibited Animals Act 2015:

  • for inspection services
  • when applying for
    • a licence
    • a special approval
    • a permit
    • an accreditation
    • a copy of information held in a public register.

You must also pay fees for renewals, restorations and transfers of, and amendments to, licences, permits and accreditations.

You must pay the relevant application fee during the application process, before submitting the application.

Fees are:

Application fees are non-refundable. This includes fees for applications that are withdrawn or refused.

For more information, see our current policy on application of fees.

Duty of care and general exhibition and dealing obligation

If you are in charge of an animal, you have a duty of care to the welfare of that animal regardless of the circumstances of why you have that animal, what you are using it for or how long it will be in your care. You are legally obliged under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 to provide 'appropriate care' for your animal by providing for its needs in a reasonable way.

Learn more about duty of care for animals.

You also have a general exhibition and dealing obligation under the Act for any animal being exhibited, regardless of whether the animal is exempt from being listed on a licence or permit.

Laws and regulations for exhibiting animals

The Act requires you to hold an exhibition licence to exhibit, demonstrate or use protected, international or prohibited wildlife for film or television productions.

Animal welfare and biosecurity are regulated and enforced in Queensland to ensure animals are treated humanely, and the environment and agriculture are protected.

Animal welfare laws

The Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 promotes the responsible care and use of animals. It places a legal duty of care on people in charge of animals to meet those animals' needs.

Biosecurity Queensland and RSPCA Australia work in partnership to regulate animal welfare in Queensland.

Learn more about animal welfare laws in Queensland.

Biosecurity, export and import laws

The Queensland Biosecurity Act 2014 governs control, movement and management of plants and animals declared as pests.

Australian quarantine, export and import laws are administered by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

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