Are Bearded Dragons Illegal in Australia

Are Bearded Dragons legal in Australia?

Bearded dragons are cute and cuddly creatures that have captured the hearts of people all around the world.

If you’re an Australian who wants to keep one as a pet, you’re out of luck. That’s because these beloved reptiles are illegal to own in Australia due to their status as a threatened species.

Despite being a native species of Australia, bearded dragons are protected under the country’s strict laws and regulations. This means that if you are caught with one of these delightful creatures, you could face serious penalties, including hefty fines or even jail time.

So, if you’re thinking of sneaking a bearded dragon into your home, think again – it’s simply not worth the risk. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at why bearded dragons are illegal in Australia and what it means for the country’s efforts to protect its unique wildlife.

The Law of Keeping Bearded Dragon in Australia

Downs Bearded Dragon (Pogona henrylawsoni)_079
Credit: Gary Stephenson

Now that we know the heartbreaking truth about the law that prohibits the ownership of bearded dragons in Australia, let’s delve a little deeper into the rationale behind it. As much as we would all love to have these adorable reptiles as pets, there are valid reasons behind this law.

One of the main reasons for this law is that bearded dragons, like many other native reptiles, are under threat from habitat loss, climate change, and illegal poaching. By protecting these animals and their habitats, we are preserving our unique wildlife heritage for future generations to enjoy.

Furthermore, bearded dragons are complex animals that require specific care and attention, which many people may not be equipped to provide. Without proper care, these animals can suffer from a range of health problems, including malnutrition, dehydration, and respiratory infections.

By preventing the widespread ownership of these animals, we are ensuring that they are only kept by responsible and knowledgeable pet owners who can provide them with the best possible care.

In conclusion, while it may be disappointing to learn that we can’t own bearded dragons as pets in Australia without a permit, it is important to remember that this law is in place to protect both the animals themselves and their fragile habitats. So, let’s continue to admire these fascinating creatures from afar and do our part to help preserve their natural habitats.

Why Are Bearded Dragons Illegal in Australia?

Australian Bearded Dragon
Credit: Rachel Sloman

Now that we have discussed the laws surrounding keeping bearded dragons in Australia, let’s dive into why these beloved reptiles are actually illegal in their native country.

First and foremost, it’s important to note that bearded dragons are a threatened species in Australia. This means that their population is declining and they are at risk of becoming extinct. Due to their dwindling numbers, the Australian government has placed a strict ban on the export of bearded dragons in an effort to protect their dwindling population.

In addition to being at risk of extinction, bearded dragons also play an important role in the Australian ecosystem. They help to control populations of insects and other pests, which is crucial for maintaining a healthy balance in the environment.

However, if bearded dragons were to be introduced into a new ecosystem, they could potentially disrupt the delicate balance and cause harm to local wildlife.

Lastly, bearded dragons can carry diseases that can be harmful to humans. While it’s rare for bearded dragons to transmit diseases to humans, it’s still a risk that the Australian government is not willing to take.

By keeping bearded dragons illegal, they are able to prevent the spread of any potential diseases and protect the health of their citizens.

Overall, while it may be disappointing for bearded dragon enthusiasts in Australia, the ban on these beloved reptiles is ultimately for the greater good of both the species and the environment.

What Are the Consequences of Owning a Bearded Dragon in Australia?

Now that we know why bearded dragons are illegal in Australia, let’s take a closer look at the consequences of owning one. Brace yourself, because it’s not pretty.

First and foremost, if you are caught with a bearded dragon in Australia, you could be slapped with a fine of up to $10,000. That’s enough to make anyone think twice about bringing one of these reptiles into the country.

But it gets worse. You could also face up to 12 months in jail. That’s right, owning a bearded dragon is considered a criminal offense in Australia. It’s probably not worth the risk.

But even if you manage to avoid getting caught, there’s still the matter of what would happen to your pet if it were discovered. The authorities have the power to seize and destroy any bearded dragons found in the country.

That means your beloved pet could be taken away from you and put down. It’s a harsh reality, but one that every potential bearded dragon owner in Australia needs to be aware of.

The risk of facing a hefty fine or even jail time is enough to scare off most people, but the thought of having your pet taken away and destroyed is truly heartbreaking. So, if you’re thinking about getting a bearded dragon as a pet, it’s best to do your research and find a legal and safe way to do so.

What Can You Do if You Want a Bearded Dragon?

Now that we know about the legal implications of owning a bearded dragon in Australia, let’s explore what options are available if you want to bring one of these unique pets into your home.

First and foremost, adopting a bearded dragon from a rescue organization is an excellent way to give a loving home to an animal in need. Many reptile rescues specialize in caring for abandoned, neglected, or surrendered bearded dragons, providing them with proper nutrition, veterinary care, and socialization.

Not only do you get a great pet, but you also get the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping an animal in need.

If you prefer to get a bearded dragon from a breeder, make sure you do your research to find a reputable one.

Breeding bearded dragons requires a lot of knowledge, skill, and resources, so it’s important to find a breeder who prioritizes the health and well-being of their animals. Look for breeders who have a good reputation, take measures to prevent inbreeding and genetic disorders, and are transparent about their breeding practices.

Lastly, some pet stores sell bearded dragons, but it’s crucial to ensure that the store is selling them legally. In some areas, it’s illegal to sell certain species of reptiles without a permit, and some pet stores may obtain their animals from illegal sources.

If you do decide to get a bearded dragon from a pet store, make sure you do your due diligence and confirm that the store is operating ethically and legally.

In conclusion, there are several options available for those who want to bring a bearded dragon into their home. Whether you choose to adopt from a rescue organization, purchase from a reputable breeder, or buy from a pet store, it’s essential to prioritize the well-being and legality of your pet’s acquisition.


In conclusion, while Bearded Dragons are not technically illegal in Australia, they are heavily regulated and require special permits to own.

The regulations are in place to protect both the animals and the ecosystem in Australia. It is important for potential pet owners to educate themselves on the laws and regulations regarding exotic animals before bringing one into their home.

If you are set on having a Bearded Dragon as a pet, there are steps you can take to ensure you are doing so legally. Research the laws in your specific state or territory, and obtain the necessary permits and licenses.

Remember to always prioritize the well-being of the animal and follow proper care guidelines to ensure they are living a happy and healthy life. With the right preparation and education, owning a Bearded Dragon in Australia can be a rewarding experience for both owner and pet.