The Canberra community is invited to comment on how we can better manage invasive animals and exotic animals kept as pets.
We are pursuing changes to protect our environment from animals that harm biodiversity and ecosystems in the Canberra region.
Pest Animals Declaration
Proposed changes to the Pest Animals Declaration (under the Pest Plants and Animals Act 2005) will help us manage the risks that invasive species pose to our delicate local ecosystems and agriculture.
Invasive animals have a significant impact on the ACT’s environment, economy and the community, with the ACT Government spending over $1 million annually to control these species.
More than 380, mammals, birds, reptiles, invertebrates, amphibians and fish are proposed to be added to the Pest Animals Declaration,significantly increasing the 209 animal species or groups of species currently listed.
Exotic ants, snakes, toads and Indian Myna birds are among 44 species that are proposed to be listed.
I have also resolved to list feral horses as an introduced and invasive species, reflecting the harm they cause to our environment.
Most are high risk species that are frequently detected as stowaways or found in smuggled goods. The listings will bring the ACT into line with other states and will help pursue a national management approach.
You are invited to comment on selected species and on the transitional arrangements, which are designed to minimise any impacts on owners of animals being declared.
Exempt Animals Declaration
The ACT Government is also reviewing thelist of animals that can be kept in captivity, bred, traded or imported without a licence.
The Conservator of Flora and Fauna has removed Arabian Camels and 77 bird species from the Exempt Animals Declaration (under the Nature Conservation Act 2014) because they pose a significant risk to local native species and ecosystems should they escape into the wild.
These animals identified in the Information paper will now require a licence if they are being kept in the ACT.
Licensing of high-risk species encourages responsible pet ownership by requiring owners to manage the risk of animals escaping and follow good keeping practices.
The proposed changes are expected to impact a small number of animal owners and won’t affect the owners of cats, dogs and other common pets.
If you are an animal owner or are passionate about protecting our environment against invasive animals I encourage you to have your say at: yoursay.act.gov.au/managing-invasive-animals
The public consultation ends at 5pm on Wednesday 10 July 2019.