Pest animals and nuisance native wildlife
Pest animals are fauna species that are, or have the potential to become, a serious threat to primary production, community health or the conservation of natural environmental values.
For declared pest animals such as rabbits, the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 makes it the responsibility of each and every property owner (rural and urban) to control the declared pest species on their property. The enforcement of pest control obligations is undertaken by the State government – Agriculture Victoria which is now part of the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action. Contact Agriculture Victoria directly to discuss pest animal control obligations and enforcement. Council does not have any legislative powers to compel landholders to control rabbits or other pest animals and does not run or coordinate pest animal control programs.
Council, as a land owner and manager, carries out targeted pest animal control activities on Council owned and managed land. Find out more by downloading our three year (PDF, 186KB)Pest Plant Animal Management Strategy Annual Action Plan - 2023-2024(PDF, 187KB) and our Pest Plant and Animal Strategy Annual Progress Report 2022-2023(PDF, 910KB). Council does not carry out pest animal control on private property or on land owned by other public agencies such as along railway lines or within national parks. Contact the relevant public agency directly if you would like to discuss their pest animal control programs.
Rabbits are declared as an ‘Established Pest’ under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 and all land owners have the responsibility to take all reasonable steps to prevent the spread of, and as far as possible, eradicate rabbits from their land.
You can find out more about rabbits and their control at Agriculture Victoria and PestSmart
Rabbits are not just a nuisance on farming land – they can also cause damage to gardens and building foundations in urban and rural residential areas. This is especially true in townships where there is a high proportion of holiday homes and larger residential blocks towards the edge of the township. As is the case with farming properties, home owners in urban and rural residential areas are also obligated to take action to control rabbits. Find out more about controlling rabbits in urban and semi-urban areas here(PDF, 3MB).
Rabbit control is most effective if adjoining property owners’ work together. Talk with your neighbours or contact your local landcare group to see if you can participate in a coordinated program. If you have questions about the enforcement of rabbit control obligations, contact Agriculture Victoria directly.
Other pest animals such as foxes, deer, pigs
There are many animal species exotic to Victoria which are considered to be pests. You can find detailed information on their management and control by visiting:
PestSmart Connect or Agriculture Victoria
Introduced birds such as the Indian Myna
Non-indigenous birds have become established in Victoria including the Indian Myna, Common Starling, European Blackbird and the House Sparrow. The RSPCA has further information about Indian Myna birds and the management of myna birds
Nuisance native wildlife
Nuisance wildlife are native wildlife species - such as cockatoos, corellas, magpies, masked lapwings (commonly called plovers) and kangaroos - that sometimes cause problems, but are protected natives. Council is not authorised to control or destroy these species.
The Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) is the agency responsible for native wildlife. They have detailed nuisance wildlife information on their website. Or you can call 136 186 to speak with one of their wildlife officers.
Here is some more information on specific species:
Possums are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975. There is detailed information on possum management including alternative options on The Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) website
Council does not lend out or hire out possum traps.
You can log a swooping bird location and learn more about swooping birds and what precautions you can take at Wildlife Victoria.
Council is not authorised to remove Magpies or other swooping birds. Landholders or land managers may apply to the Conservation Regulator for an Authority to Control Wildlife (ATCW). Further information can be found here.
Corellas have increased their population and range across Victoria and are now common not only in many rural towns but in urban areas as well.
The Victorian Government recently released The Victorian Corella Strategy June 2022-2032. For further information please refer to Wildlife Victoria
The Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) oversees the management and protection of kangaroos across Victoria. To find out more about the management of kangaroos visit Wildlife Victoria.
Bees, wasps and ants
Council responsibility for bee, wasp and ant issues is limited to situations where there is a hive or nest on land owned or managed by us. Bees, wasps and ants on private land are the responsibility of the owners/occupiers.
For Council land, use our lodge a request service to notify us of the problem.
For private land, you can either use a registered private pest controller, or investigate treating the problem yourself with products available from most hardware stores and supermarkets. For further details refer to information provided by the Victorian Department of Health
Rats and mice are unwelcome visitors around our house and garden and are most commonly controlled using rodent bait. However, some baits can also harm and kill local wildlife and pets through direct and secondary poisoning so it is important to look at the active ingredients.
Rodent baits typically contain one of two types of anticoagulant rodenticides:
- First Generation Anticoagulant Rodenticides (FGARs) containing the active ingredients Warfarin and Coumatetralyl work more slowly and break down more quickly. Owls and other wildlife are unlikely to die from secondary exposure.
- Second Generation Anticoagulant Rodenticides (SGARs) containing the actives ingredients Brodifacoum, Bromadialone, Difenacoum, Difethialone and Flocoumafen work fast but don't break down quickly. Predators like owls and birds of prey can easily consume multiple poisoned rodents or other off-target species such as possums, and in turn become poisoned themselves. These rodenticides should be avoided!
Bird-friendly rodent control
There are many other ways to reduce the impact of rodents around your house and garden including removing attractants such as garden waste, fallen fruit , excess pet food and rodent proofing roof and walls cavities and also chook pens and aviaries. In some situations, we can also encourage native predators by planting native trees and installing nest boxes for owls.
For more information on the impacts of SGARs and making better choices when controlling rodents visit BirdLife Australia - https://birdlife.org.au/rodent-control
Our Mosquito Management Program operates to reduce mosquito levels in the community to help reduce the risk of illnesses and protect our health, wellbeing and local environment.
While we are working hard to safely reduce their numbers, mosquitoes (also known as mozzies) are natural part of the ecosystem and it’s not possible to make a significant reduction in their population.
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