Managing pest animals

Red fox in a field with native wildlife in it's mouthPest animals are, or have the potential to be, a serious threat in Victoria to:

  • main production
  • Crown land
  • the environment
  • community health.

There are 4 categories of pest animals defined under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 (CaLP Act):

  • prohibited pest animals
  • controlled pest animals
  • regulated pest animals
  • established pest animals.

The classification of pest animals is determined by the level of threat to primary production, the environment or community health, and their potential to establish in the wild.

It's an offence to import, keep, sell or release any pest animals in Victoria without a valid permit.

Pest animal classifications can be found at the Victoria Government Gazette.

Managing prohibited pest animals

Asian black-spined toad with black knobbled skin markingsBecause of the significant threat to biosecurity, importing, keeping, selling or releasing prohibited pest animals is not allowed in Victoria.

Examples of prohibited pest animals include:

  • racoons
  • stoats and weasels
  • cane rats
  • smooth newts
  • house crows
  • Asian black-spined toads.

It is the responsibility of the Victorian Government to take all reasonable steps to control restricted pest animals (including prohibited pest animals) on all land in the state.

Managing controlled pest animals

Controlled pest animals are those that can only be kept in high security collections approved by the Minister. The keeping of controlled pest animals in Victoria is limited to specific purposes, including zoos and research institutions.

Eastern corn snake with orange brown markingsExamples include:

  • elephants
  • meerkats
  • spider monkeys
  • boa constrictors
  • American alligators
  • northern palm squirrels
  • cane toads
  • eastern corn snakes.

It's the responsibility of the Victorian government to take all reasonable steps to control restricted pest animals (including controlled pest animals) on all land in the state.

You must obtain  permit if you wish to import, keep or sell a controlled pest animal.

Managing regulated pest animals

Regulated pest animals can be kept for certain commercial purposes and can only be kept in collections or at premises approved by the Minister.

Canada geese on the waterExamples include:

  • American bison
  • water buffalo
  • blackbuck antelope
  • Canada geese.

It's the responsibility of the Victorian Government to take all reasonable steps to control restricted pest animals (including regulated pest animals) on all land in the state.

You must obtain a permit if you wish to import, keep or sell a regulated pest animal.

Managing established pest animals

Land owners must take all reasonable steps to control and where possible eradicate established pest animals on their land.

Failure to do so may result in a Directions Notice or a Land Management Notice (LMN) being issued. The Directions Notice or LMN will direct you to take certain measures to control pest animals on your property.

If you fail to comply with the Directions Notice or LMN you may be liable for a penalty under the CaLP Act.Rabbit in a field

Examples of established pest animals that must be controlled and their spread in the wild prevented include:

  • foxes
  • rabbits and hares
  • feral or wild populations of pigs
  • feral or wild populations of goats
  • feral or wild populations of dogs.

The dingo is listed as a threatened species under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and as a result is protected (threatened wildlife) under the Wildlife Act 1975. To allow for the protection and conservation of dingoes in remote areas, as well as provide for the legal control of wild dogs, dingoes have been declared unprotected under the Wildlife Act 1975 in certain areas. More information is available from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

Page last updated: 29 Jan 2021