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  Buy Your License
Commercial Importation, Possession, and Sale of Pets and Animals in Vermont

See also the Purchasing And Possessing Pets, Birds and Animal Page

Commercial Dealer's Permit

Effective January 23, 2008, regulation 10 V.S.A. App. § 18 requires persons/businesses in Vermont that sell or trade wild birds and animals to obtain a Dealer's Permit. The Application for Dealer's Permit must be completed and submitted to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. There is no charge for the permit

Anyone interested in importing, possessing or selling wild fish species should review the following two rules: Regulation 10 V.S.A. App. § 18 also establishes a list of Domestic Species and Unrestricted Wild Animals for which no state Importation and Possession Permit is required of permitted commercial dealers in Vermont. All species not listed as Domestic or Unrestricted will continue to require an importation and possession permit.

Why Restrict Animal Importation?

The collection, movement, and sale of animals around the globe and throughout the United States have resulted in serious impacts to wildlife populations through introducing diseases or exotic species that compete with native animals. The collection of some species for the purposes of the animal trade is so great that, in some cases, it threatens the wild populations. Lastly, many of the animals are dangerous and simply a threat to human health and safety.

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department has statutory authority to restrict the importation and possession of animals in order to guard against the above threats to the public and the state's wildlife. The Department views these efforts as vital to meeting its conservation mission.

Importation and Possession Permit: Newly adopted regulation 10 V.S.A. App. § 18 provides clear guidelines on the importation and possession requirements for all pet stores, dealers in wildlife, hobbyists, and prospective pet owners. These are intended to provide the public with current Department guidelines that identify which species are allowed to be imported, possessed, and sold without an Importation and Possession Permit.

Many wildlife species, ranging from mammals to invertebrates are designated as Domestic or Unrestricted Wild Animals. Descriptions and lists of species under each category are provided below. Species' designations are generally based upon the following criteria as to whether the species is:
  • Capable of competing with native wildlife species
  • A risk of transmitting diseases to native wildlife species
  • A threat to human health and safety
  • Threatened in other regions by collecting for the pet trade


Domestic Species: These species are exempt from regulation 10 V.S.A. App. § 18 and do not require an Importation and Possession Permit from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. It is recommended that persons also review Title 6 V.S.A. 1151 for Vermont Department of Agriculture laws.

Unrestricted Wild Animals: No Importation and Possession Permit is needed to import and possess these species into the state. These species have been designated as Unrestricted based on the fact that the species satisfy none of the criteria listed above. Those species listed as Exemptions in the Appendix of the Unrestricted Wild Animals List do require an Importation and Possession Permit from the Department.

Species not listed as Domestic or Unrestricted Wild Animals require an Importation and Possession Permit, which may or may not be granted depending upon specific circumstances or conditions.

Businesses and persons interested in submitting an Application for Importation and Possession Permit (Word format / pdf format) must complete the application form accompanied with the application fee of $100.00 to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department PRIOR to importing and possessing the pet or wild animal.

Related Documents See also the Purchasing And Possessing Pets, Birds and Animal Page
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