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Overview

Captive Wildlife

Contact AGFC Licensing 833-345-0325 for Captive Wildlife permit applications not listed here. For instructions creating your customer identification number, click here.




Importing Wildlife

All species of wildlife, whether native or exotic, are subject to Arkansas Game and Fish Commission regulations, however importation regulations vary based on the possible threat that each captive wildlife species may pose to the native wildlife species, habitats, and people of Arkansas. Species Lists are available below.

Unrestricted Species: Species on the Unrestricted Captive Wildlife Species List (Addendum R1.01) can be brought into or through Arkansas without a permit from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission may have regulations that apply.

Permitted Species: Species on the Permitted Captive Wildlife Species List (Addendum R1.02) may only be brought into or through Arkansas with a Commission-issued Wildlife Importation Permit. There are a few exceptions to the need for a permit that can be found in Code 9.10. Such permits will require a veterinary inspection prior to entry into the state. The Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission may also have regulations that apply.

Prohibited Species: Species on the Prohibited Captive Wildlife Species List (Addendum R1.03) may only be brought into or through Arkansas in limited circumstances in accordance with Code 9.11 Exceptions. The Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission may also have regulations that apply.

Unlisted Species: Any species not listed in (Addendum R1.01) as unrestricted or (Addendum R1.02) as permitted is by default prohibited from importation. However, you may request that a species be evaluated. The Commission will conduct an evaluation of the risks relating to this species and decide how the species will be classified.

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Wildlife Pets

Please refer to Code Section 9 for further information. Please be aware that the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission, Arkansas Department of Health, the federal government and local city or county government also may have regulations affecting ownership or use of certain wildlife.

  • Please see Code 9.14A for complete regulations.
  • Up to six individual animals from the following list and taken by hand from the wild may be kept per household:
    • Opossums, rabbits, raccoons or squirrels.
    • Hand-captured native non-game wildlife other than birds, bats, alligator snapping turtles, ornate box turtles, hellbenders, Ouachita steambed salamanders, collared lizards, troglodytic species (cave dwellers), or those animals defined as endangered species.
    • Deer captured by hand prior to July 1, 2012.
    • Bobcat, coyote, gray fox, and red fox captured by hand prior to July 1, 2022.
  • Once taken, the animal must remain in the owner’s custody, except pets other than white-tailed deer may be turned over to a permitted wildlife rehabilitator for release back into the wild.
  • Males and females must be kept in separate pens unless they have been neutered to prevent reproduction.
  • All wildlife kept as pets must be kept in cages that keep them from escaping and keep other wildlife from entering.
  • These animals may not be sold or transferred to a different owner and may only be taken from the state with the permission of the Chief of Wildlife Management.
  • Please see Code 9.14(B) for complete regulations.
  • Individuals may purchase and own up to six per household of captive-born, commercially obtained native wildlife species as personal pets. There are restrictions on certain species (see Code Addendum R1.03). If you wish to possess more than 6 then you must obtain a Wildlife Breeder/Dealer Permit.
  • Animals must have been purchased from a Commission-permitted Wildlife Breeder/Dealer, brought into Arkansas with a Wildlife Importation Permit, or purchased from a legal owner that registered the sale with the Commission.
  • Owners must have proof of legal ownership.
  • Males and females must be kept in separate pens unless they have been neutered to prevent reproduction.
  • Medically significant venomous reptiles (see Code 01.00C for a list) must be kept in accordance with caging and transportation requirements found in Code Addendum F1.08, Section C and F.
  • Although breeding of pets held under this regulation is illegal, owners may sell up to 20 individual animals per calendar year without obtaining a Wildlife Breeder/Dealer permit. Such sales need to be registered with the Commission.
  • Many species that are not native to Arkansas may be kept as personal pets. Please see Code 9.02 for complete regulations.
  • Animals must have been purchased from a Commission-permitted Wildlife Breeder/Dealer, brought into Arkansas with a Wildlife Importation Permit, or purchased from a legal owner that registered the sale with the Commission. This does not apply if the animal is listed on the Unrestricted Captive Wildlife Species List (Code Addendum R1.01).
  • Males and females must be kept in separate pens unless they have been neutered to prevent reproduction.
  • There are limitations on ownership of certain exotics including mountain lions, large carnivores, primates and other species listed in Code 9.02 and Code Addendum R1.03.
  • Non-native Medically significant venomous reptiles must be kept in accordance with a Venomous Reptile Possession Permit. See Code 01.00C for a definition of such species and Code 9.17 for applicable regulations.
  • If the species is included is listed on the Unrestricted Captive Wildlife Species List (Code Addendum R1.01) you may sell these animals in any number.
  • If the species is listed on the Permitted Captive Wildlife Species list (Code Addendum R1.02), a Wildlife Breeder/Dealer Permit is required to breed any animals. Owners of species on the Permitted Captive Wildlife Species list may sell up to 20 individual animals per calendar year without obtaining a Wildlife Breeder/Dealer Permit, however, all such sales must be registered with the Commission.

Release of Wildlife

Wildlife may not be released into the wild without prior approval of the AGFC with these exceptions:

  • A licensed Gamebird Shooting Resort may release captive-raised quail, pheasant, or chukar in accordance with the terms of their permit.
  • A licensed wildlife rehabilitator may release native wildlife other than mountain lions.
  • Raccoons, foxes, coyotes or pen-raised quail used for AKC, UKC and ACHA-sanctioned field trials may be released with the approval of the Chief of Wildlife Management.
  • Pen-raised quail and pheasants may be taken by holders of a Shoot-to-kill Bird Dog Field Training Permit or a Shoot-to-kill Bird Dog Field Trial Permit.
  • Landowners and nuisance wildlife control operators may livetrap nuisance wildlife outside the legal harvest season and release to the wild. Traps must be marked with the user’s identification.