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The Wildlife Act 1953

Any creature that is in a wild state and is defined as an animal in the Wildlife Act 1953 is absolutely protected unless otherwise stated in the Act. The definition of 'animal' in this Act is quite different from that in the Animal Welfare Act 1999, and it includes some marine species and a number of terrestrial and freshwater invertebrates.

Under the Wildlife Act 1953, it is illegal to keep any species of native animal without a permit from the Department of Conservation.

Changes are made to this Act as new information arises, therefore it is recommended that you go to the most recent version when referring to it .