Vertebrate animal pests: policy and management

Page last updated: Wednesday, 21 October 2015 - 3:49pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Information on policy and management concerning vertebrate animal pests in Western Australia.

Introduced vertebrate animals: mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians

Introduced and native animals can cause problems for agriculture and the environment, and social problems for the community. For these reasons they may be declared pests under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007 (BAM Act).

The impact of animal pests can be minimised by:

  • preventing the entry of new pest species to the State
  • removing small populations of pests found here
  • minimising the impact of widespread pests
  • raising awareness of the problem and solutions for managing vertebrate pests.


All vertebrate animals declared under the BAM Act are listed in the Western Australian Organism List (WAOL). This list provides information on how each animal is managed under the Act. Any species not listed on WAOL is prohibited in Western Australia.

Obtaining and keeping introduced animals

Which animals can I import and keep in WA?

Information on the import and management of declared animals is available from the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA) website - Importing and keeping introduced mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians in Western Australia or the Western Australian Organism List (WAOL).

You may need to apply for a permit to keep, and possibly a permit to import animals. An application form for an import permit can be downloaded from the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management/importing pages on DAFWA's website. Permits for birds declared Restricted Keeping under the BAM Act, and fauna licences for native animals are available from the Department of Parks and Wildlife Licenses and Permits Section.

Approval must be obtained before any unlisted species can be imported and kept in WA, as these animals are prohibited entry until assessed. The Committee for the Introduction and Keeping of Animals (CIKA), a Cabinet-appointed policy committee, is responsible for considering applications for unlisted vertebrate animals. Assessments are considered by CIKA's Technical Subcommittee (TSC) with experts from a number of state government bodies.

Inspections at state airports and road checkpoints

All animals entering the state are subject to inspection by Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA) Quarantine Inspectors who check all but a small list of familiar animals to confirm the species identity and ensure that appropriate permits or licences are in place.

Surveillance for animal pests

DAFWA needs the support of WA's community and industry to detect pest species in the wild early, so that they can be removed quickly before populations become established here.

Unwanted animals

It is an offence to release unwanted animals into the wild. Unwanted animals should be surrended to a responsible organisation or person and not released into the environment. Every attempt is made to re-house surrendered animals safely.

Contact information

Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
+61 (0)8 9368 3080
Win Kirkpatrick
+61 (0)8 9363 4061