Native animals are not pets

Native animals are not pets

Friday, January 25, 2019

As a part of the Biodiversity Conservation Bill, the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) is currently considering a proposal to expand the list of mammals that people can keep as pets. WIRES is extremely concerned about the implications for our native wild populations and we are asking for you to join us in taking action.

The proposal lists 37 species, including 11 species listed on the NSW threatened species list, 4 of which are categorized as endangered. Only two of these have previously been listed as approved to keep, the plains rat and spinifex-hopping-mouse.

Some of the species listed include gliders, possums, koalas, flying foxes, wombats, wallabies, quolls, and kangaroos. If the proposal is approved these animals could be kept in the suburbs, in the same homes as dogs and cats.

We believe that if approved the consequences of this proposal are so significant, that we consider this a serious welfare and conservation threat to native mammals.

Some major areas of concern include:

  • breeding of native animals for sale and issues with monitoring standards
  • inability to monitor whether animals are taken from the wild illegally
  • pet welfare issues escalating for native animals kept in inappropriate conditions
  • pets being released into the wild rather than being surrendered, unlikely to survive as individuals, and the potentially dire implications this could have on wild populations
  • with no existing organisations able to manage unwanted native animals kept as pets - what would happen to every surrendered animal or those rescued that are clearly not wild?

The office of the Environment Minister has indicated that no decision will be made until an adequate public consultation has taken place. WIRES along with other welfare and environmental groups will now begin publicly campaigning against this change.

We need your help to get this proposal dismissed! Please sign the WIRES petition today at

Sign WIRES petition to help keep wildlife in the wildnative animals should not be pets, they should be wild for life.

Please share the link to the petition with all your friends, family, and colleagues.

You will find template letters on the website so you can easily write to your local MP and Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton as well.

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