Project status: Closed

What we are looking at

The Government protects our environment from animals that could harm biodiversity, ecosystems and our way of life in the Canberra region.

One of the best ways we can look after our natural environment and protect our native species is to prevent invasive animals and other non-native animals from establishing in the Territory. Where they are already here, we need to manage them for minimal impact.

We asked you to have your say on :

  • A discussion paper on the Pest Animals Declaration (see tab above and discussion paper at right).
  • An information paper on Changes to Licences for Keeping Non-native Animals (see tab above and discussion paper at right).

Thank you for your comments and submissions. Your feedback is summarised in the Listening Report - Pest Animals Declaration.

How we will use your views:

All comments received will be considered in the finalisation of the Pest Animals Declaration and the determination of transition arrangements for people with any of the animals affected by both declarations. Any written submissions on the Pest Animals Declaration may also be published on an ACT Government website or included in any subsequent consultation report; while names of organisations may be included, all individuals will be de-identified unless prior approval is gained.

The Pest Plants and Animals (Pest Animals) Declaration 2021 was notified on 21 June 2021.


The ACT Government’s YourSay Privacy Policy explains the way we protect your personal information and provides advice on how you may access or correct your personal information held by us, or make a complaint about the way we handle your personal information.

Pest Animals Declaration

Pest Animals Declaration

What we are looking at:

Invasive animals can have significant impacts on the environment, economy and community when they become established in the ACT. Managing invasive animals costs the ACT Government over $1 million a year.

The ACT’s Pest Animals Declaration protects the ACT’s land and aquatic resources from threats posed by invasive plants and animals. The declaration promotes a strategic approach to their declaration and management. It also lists the invasive animals that are declared as pest animals in the ACT.

We asked the community to comment on the addition of new species to the Pest Animals Declaration, the status of those species and how we could help people who have any of the animals make the transition.

The Government proposed adding 380 new species to the Pest Animals Declaration, taking the total to 589. The new species proposed included:

  • a wide range of invasive invertebrates, mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians
  • high risk species already present or established in the ACT or other jurisdictions
  • species that are the subject of current or former national eradication programs
  • prohibited species under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015
  • high risk invasive animals frequently detected nationally that have been surrendered or stolen, or are stowaways or smuggled goods
  • high priority species in the draft National Invasive Ant Biosecurity Plan 2018-28
  • additional species from the National Noxious Fish List.

Forty-four of these species were open for comment as to whether they should be included on the list, including Indian Myna birds, wild rock doves, cane toads, the house mouse, exotic ants and snakes. See these species at Table 5 in the discussion paper.

The remaining species will be added to the list. The Minister for the Environment and Heritage has also decided to list Wild Horses (see Table 2 in the discussion paper).

Each species has a declaration status. There are three levels of status:

  • declared
  • prohibited from supply or keeping
  • prohibited and notifiable (that is, if you see one on your premises, you are legally required to notify the ACT Government through the Director-General of the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate so it can be dealt with before becoming a problem).

For the species in tables 3 and 4 in the discussion paper, you were invited to comment on their notifiable and/or prohibited declaration status.

You were also invited to comment on how we can help people who may already be keeping any of these species deal with their new status. For example, we are proposing to change the legislation to allow a permit to keep certain animals currently held in captivity for their natural lifespan.

Keeping of Non-native Animals

Keeping of Non-native Animals

What we are looking at:

The ACT Government now requires 77 bird and one camel species to have a licence if they are being kept in the ACT.

These animals have been removed from the Exempt Animals Declaration because the Conservator of Flora and Fauna has decided they would pose a significant risk to local native species and ecosystems should they establish wild populations here.

Although not many people will be affected by the changes, anyone keeping these animals must comply with the new licensing requirements. The Government is willing to explore options to minimise the impact on individuals or businesses that may be affected by the changes. Such options may include, for example, waiving licence fees for currently owned animals.

The main reason for licences is to allow the ACT Government to gain comprehensive, up-to-date information about which species are being kept legally for the purposes of breeding, buying, selling, importing and exporting purposes.

Owners of all animals kept in captivity, traded or imported in the ACT require a licence unless the animal is listed in the Exempt Animals Declaration (species at low risk to the environment). The keeping of dogs, cats and farm stock is dealt with under other legislation.

See the list of animals that do not require a licence at the Exempt Species Declaration.

See a list of the animals that now require a licence because they have been removed from the declaration at the information paper, Keeping of Non-Native Animals.

See more information on animals that require licences at the ACT environment website.

How you had your say:

If you had one of the birds which now needs a licence, or camels, we wanted to know. Contact details were provided to us by:

  • emailing
  • mailing: Exempt species list
    c/- Environment Division, Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate
    GPO Box 158
    Canberra City ACT 2601