Hands Off!

In terms of the Nature Conservation Ordinance No 12 of 1983, a permit is required to keep, convey, export, import, sell and buy any wild animal.

Tortorties are no exception to this rule!

Some tortoises are carriers of the bacteria called Mycoplasma and once they contract it they become carriers for life.



  • What To Do If You See A Tortoise?

    If it is on the side of the road next to a natural veld leave it there as that is where they live!

    If it is found in the middle of the road in a residential area or are keeping it and not interested in keeping it any more take it to a wild life organisation near you.

    If your friend or neighbor is keeping it without a permit report them to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Enforcement Unit.

  • Why are Permits Required?

    To Protect our indigenous reptile species;

    To prevent over exploitation of indigenous species;

    To regulate and control; the spread of invasive exotics that threaten the biodiversity of our province;

    To prevent the possibility of genetic contamination and spread of disease.

  • Requirements For Keeping Tortoises in Captivity

    Sufficient food and water;

    Suitable environment;

    Access to animal health care;

    Opportunity to express most normal behavior;

    Protection from fear and distress;

    Only same sex Leopard tortoises may be kept with valid permits.

    Tortoises have special dietary and habitat requirements. Make sure you are prepared for the responsibility of keeping a tortoise and that you research what is involved in keeping wild animals.

  • Prohibited Activities

    DO NOT :

    Collect or release tortoises in the wild without a permit;

    Buy a tortoise from any person, pet shops or on the side of the road;

    Buy or receive a tortoise without a permit;

    Do not donate your tortoise without permits.

  • Contact Details


    Northwest Office
    012 012 709 1274 / 018 – 389 5032/5527

    Johannesburg Office
    011 240 3043

    Pretoria Office
    012 316 1638

    Enforcement Unit
    011 240 3510