Controlled Alien Species for Zoos & Aquariums

Last updated on June 10, 2024

Zoos and aquariums in B.C. are required to have permits for possessing, breeding, shipping or transporting prohibited controlled alien species.

Exotic animals are known as controlled alien species in B.C. For the purposes of the Controlled Alien Species Regulation, a zoo or aquarium must be either accredited by Canada's Accredited Zoos & Aquariums (CAZA), or able to provide proof to the satisfaction of the director of meeting or exceeding the accreditation standards set by CAZA in order to receive a permit.

Apply for a Permit

Fill out an application to request a Non-Personal Possession Permit for possession of a prohibited controlled alien species by a zoo or aquarium:

Please read the permit application and conditions carefully for a full outline of annual requirements for permitted accredited zoos and aquariums.


Applicants have three options for submitting their permit applications:

  1. Mail your permit application to

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

  1. Email your application to

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 Non-Personal Possession Permit has been granted, accredited zoos and aquariums will be able to:

  • Possess a controlled alien species as outlined in their Non-Personal Possession Permit
  • Ship and transport a controlled alien species, accompanied with its permit
  • Breed controlled alien species with a permit and a CAZA-approved collection management plan

Accredited zoos and aquariums will be prohibited from:

  • Releasing controlled alien species
  • Breaching a condition of their controlled alien species permit

Canada’s Accredited Zoos & Aquariums (CAZA) is a private charitable organization representing the country’s leading zoological parks and aquariums.

Contact information

Contact us if you have questions about controlled alien species.

Toll Free
1 877-855-3222
Controlled Alien Species
Victoria, BC
V8W 9M8