Controlled Alien Species for Individual Owners

Exotic animals are known as controlled alien species in B.C. Under certain circumstances, individuals may be allowed to possess and keep controlled alien species in the province.

Apply for a Permit

All species listed in Schedule 1 of the Controlled Alien Species Regulation are considered to be prohibited. Prohibited controlled alien species that are in B.C require a possession permit.

Fill out an application to request a Personal Possession Permit for individual possession of a prohibited controlled alien species:


Applicants have three options for submitting their permit applications:

  1. Mail your permit application to

ATTN: Controlled Alien Species Permit
Wildlife & Habitat Branch
Victoria, BC
V8W 9M8

  1. Email your application to
  2. Fax your application to 250 387-0239

There are currently no fees for controlled alien species permits in B.C.

Please allow a minimum of 60 business days for your application to be reviewed and processed.

Rules for Possession

Once a Personal Possession Permit has been granted, individual owners will be able to:

  • Possess a controlled alien species with a Personal Possession Permit
  • Ship or transport a controlled alien species in B.C., accompanied with its permit
    • Part B of the Personal Possession Permit application must be filled in

Individual owners will be prohibited from:

  • Breeding controlled alien species
  • Releasing controlled alien species
  • Breaching a condition of their controlled alien species permit
  • Transferring or importing new controlled alien species into B.C.

The penalties associated with breeding or releasing for a first-time offender are one of the following:

  • Fines ranging from $2,500 to a maximum of $250,000
  • A term of imprisonment not exceeding two years
  • Both a fine and a sentence

The penalties for possession without a permit for a first-time offender are one of the following:

  • Fines up to a maximum of $100,000
  • A term of imprisonment of one year
  • Both a fine and a sentence

There are over 22 local governments in B.C. that have bylaws dealing with controlled alien species. It is the obligation of the owner of the animal to comply with municipal bylaws.