New Jersey has specific wildlife captivity laws and regulations pertaining to game species (NJAC 7:25-10). In most states, it is illegal to acquire a wild animal or bird from the wild. The term “Captive Game” typically refers to the offspring of wildlife that were legally held and bred in captivity.
The intent of regulations dealing with wildlife captivity are:
- To protect wildlife from exploitation
- To protect native wildlife populations from disease or competition
- To protect people from being injured by captive wildlife
- To protect agricultural crops from damage from escaped exotic wildlife
In New Jersey, the captive game mammal or bird may not be of wild origin. The applicant must provide documentation proving the animal was not taken from the wild (unless otherwise authorized by Division) and is free of disease; hence the requirements for importation permits, certificate of veterinary inspection, and animal health testing requirements.
Applicants seeking approval for the possession of a potentially dangerous species (PDS) must provide additional documentation noting their experience and the ability to meet enhanced facility requirements.
Anyone interested in or having a need to import or possess wild game should contact the Captive Game Permit Section at 609-223-6056 prior to acquiring wildlife. This allows us to confirm the seller holds a valid permit, the game is from documented captive stock, and to provide the applicant with species specific information on current importation restrictions or requirements. See the documents below for more information.
RVS – Possession of a Rabies Vector Species Notice (pdf, 340kb)
Pheasants – Pheasant Propagation Guide (pdf, 310kb)
Game Birds – NJ Dept. of Agriculture Disease Testing Information (pdf, 35kb)
Mammals – USDA-APHIS Animal Care Permit Requirements Information (pdf, 23kb)REGULATIONS
Captive Game Animal and Game Bird Regulations (pdf, 39kb)
NEW APPLICATION FORMS
Captive Game Animal and Game Bird Possession Application (Including Skunks) (pdf, 425kb)
Potentially Dangerous Species Application Form (pdf, 115kb) (Submit with the Captive Game Application above)
PERMIT RENEWAL FORM
QUARTERLY REPORT FORMS (Animal Exhibitor, Animal Theatrical, Zoological, Cooperator)
Quarterly Report Form (pdf, 480kb)
IMPORTATION – Once the Division has been contacted (at 609-984-0530) the appropriate form must be completed and submitted:
DEER – Notice Regarding Possession/Importation of Live Cervids (pdf, 80kb)
RABIES VECTOR SPECIES (Raccoon, skunk, woodchuck, fox, bat)
Policy on the Importation of Captive Rabies Vector Species (RVS) (pdf, 20kb)
Import application forms:
The following links are to information on the NJ Dept of Health & Senior Services web site:
CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE
SHOOTING PRESERVE INFORMATION
NOTE: Regulations concerning the possession of game animals, as well as Semi-wild and Commercial Shooting Preserves, may be found in NJSA Title 23:3-28 to 39. Please consult your county library for copies of Title 23 or view them online in the Statutes Section of the NJ State Legislature’s website.