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Captive Game Information and Application Forms

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.

Depending on the species and type of permit, federal permits from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and/or the US Dept. of Agriculture may be also be required.

Anyone interested in or having a need to import or possess wild game should contact the Captive Game Permit Section at 908-735-7040 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.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Captive Game Information Sheet (pdf, 42kb)
Captive Game Species Permit FAQs

RVS - Possession of a Rabies Vector Species Notice (pdf, 17kb)
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 (pdf, 50kb)
Potentially Dangerous Species Application Form (pdf, 70kb) (Submit with the Captive Game Application above)

PERMIT RENEWAL FORM

Captive Game Annual Report and Application Renewal Form (pdf, 140kb)

QUARTERLY REPORT FORMS (Animal Exhibitor, Animal Theatrical, Zoological, Cooperator)

Quarterly Report Form (pdf, 55kb)

IMPORTATION - Once the Division has been contacted (at 908-735-7040) the appropriate form must be completed and submitted:

DEER - Important Notice to Permit Holders of Captive Deer & Elk (pdf, 21kb)
RABIES VECTOR SPECIES (Raccoon, skunk, woodchuck, fox, bat)
   Policy on the Importation of Captive Rabies Vector Species (RVS) (pdf, 20kb)

Import application forms:

   Application to Import Game Birds (pdf, 69kb)
   Application to Import Game Animals (pdf, 37b)

RABIES

The following links are to information on the NJ Dept of Health & Senior Services web site:

Rabies Technical Information
Infectious and Zoonotic Disease Program
Rabies Frequently Asked Questions (pdf)
Rabies Pre-exposure Immunization Information (pdf)
NJ Animal Rabies Statistics

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE

Important Notice to Permit Holders of Captive Deer & Elk (pdf, 21kb)

SHOOTING PRESERVE INFORMATION

Commercial Shooting Preserve Information
Semi-wild Shooting Preserve Information
NJ Northern Bobwhite Action Plan
Bobwhite Basics Brochure (pdf, 1.0mb)

OTHER

Wildlife Relocation Policy (pdf, 60kb)
AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia (pdf, 550kb)

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.

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: October 10, 2014