Have your say on the keeping and trading of protected animals in Queensland

Issued: 26 June 2018

Queenslanders are invited to have their say on a review of how the state’s protected birds, reptiles, mammals, insects and amphibians are managed through the wildlife licensing system, with submissions closing at 5pm on 29 June 2018.

The Department of Environment and Science (DES) is reviewing the system of commercial and recreational wildlife licences, which was last reviewed in 2004.

Queensland now has more than 30,000 keepers holding recreational wildlife licences and about 100 commercial licences in effect each year.

DES is seeking public feedback to help modernise Queensland’s regulations for keeping and trading wildlife. The review is also aimed at strengthening conservation outcomes, addressing illegal wildlife-related activities, and reducing administration costs.

The review addresses concerns that the current framework has significant loopholes that facilitate illegal wildlife trade and the ongoing population viability of animals in the wild.

The review puts forward detailed options for better ways to protect our unique and diverse wildlife through regulations – especially with the increasing popularity of keeping native animals as pets.

The options are described in the Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement: Reviewing the framework for the management of protected wildlife (animals) in Queensland under the Nature Conservation Act 1992.

The review has so far looked at the current system’s effectiveness, and has also investigated:

  • establishing a risk-based licensing framework;
  • strengthening record-keeping requirements; and
  • restricting unregulated take of animals from the wild.

The proposed new approach would see just three types of licences in place of the current 11 types of commercial and recreational wildlife licences.

Licence types will be based on the number of animals kept, whether specialised care is needed, and whether keepers wish to breed or trade animals.

People who can currently keep certain native animals without needing a permit—for example, budgerigars and cockatiels—will still be able to do this.

There are also benefits for commercial wildlife businesses in the proposals. They would be able to trade all species that are currently only permitted for recreational keepers.

The proposed options will have no impact on activities that are not authorised under commercial or recreational wildlife licences. These include spotter and catcher work under a damage mitigation permit or rehabilitation licences, fauna relocation services, and the rights of Traditional Owners.

For more information, and to access the Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement, visit https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/plants-animals/wildlife-permits/framework-review.

Submissions can be made via the online survey, by mail, or electronically at NC.Act@des.qld.gov.au.