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Captive wildlife regulations and licenses

2003 Wisconsin Act 56 established new standards and licenses for possession of captive wildlife in State stat. CH 169 [PDF exit DNR] and Administrative Code s. NR 16 [PDF exit DNR] further explains the purpose of and standard conditions for each captive wildlife license.

All captive wildlife licenses are subject to:

If a captive wild animal is imported into Wisconsin from a legal source in another state, an animal import permit [exit DNR] is required from the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection prior to the animal entering Wisconsin.

Wildlife farms and exhibits

In order to possess a migratory bird under a captive wild animal farm license or a nonprofit educational exhibit license, a Federal Migratory Bird Special Purpose Possession - Education (live) Permit [exit DNR] is also required from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

If you plan on exhibiting captive wild animals to the public you may also need a United States Department of Agriculture Class C Exhibit License [exit DNR].

Wild fur farm

Deer farm

In order to possess captive white-tailed deer in Wisconsin, it is required to have a valid fencing certificate from the DNR. This fencing certificate is only required for farmers who wish to raise white-tailed deer. Nonwhite-tailed deer are not regulated by the DNR but all captive farm-raised deer keepers are required to be licensed and registered by the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection [exit DNR].

Wild animal hunting or hound dog training/trialing

Free premise registration is required of all livestock owners, including captive game birds. This is an important component of maintaining the health of domestic and wild birds. Registration is free and confidential through the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture [exit DNR] which also provides additional information. Register online [exit DNR], or call the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium at 888-808-1910.