Proposed changes to South Australia’s wildlife regulations

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Consultation has concluded

About


The Draft Wildlife Regulations 2017 are currently being finalised based on stakeholder feedback. These regulations will come into operation in June/July 2018 (not June/July 2017).

The Wildlife Regulations 2017 will be available to the public by the end of 2017 to prepare for implementation in June 2018. There will be some interim measures for people seeking new longer term permits (that are issued for 3 or 5 years).

Permit holders will be sent further information prior to 30 June 2017, during the annual permit renewals process.

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Click here for the April 2017 Update


This engagement has closed for

About


The Draft Wildlife Regulations 2017 are currently being finalised based on stakeholder feedback. These regulations will come into operation in June/July 2018 (not June/July 2017).

The Wildlife Regulations 2017 will be available to the public by the end of 2017 to prepare for implementation in June 2018. There will be some interim measures for people seeking new longer term permits (that are issued for 3 or 5 years).

Permit holders will be sent further information prior to 30 June 2017, during the annual permit renewals process.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Click here for the April 2017 Update


This engagement has closed for comment. Thanks for your interest, work is still underway.

The public consultation period on the draft National Parks and Wildlife (Wildlife) Regulations 2017 has ended and DEWNR is considering your comments. Community consultation is an important aspect of regulation change and we thank all those who provided their feedback.

From this recent consultation period, we received:

  • 21 comments on the YourSAy Discussion
  • 43 Survey responses
  • 45 written submissions
  • 17 phone enquiries

We heard that parts of the regulation are not as clear as they could be and that some proposals have implications we had not foreseen. DEWNR is working through the comments you provided to see how they may improve the clarity and operation of the wildlife regulations.

You will continue to be informed of progress as DEWNR prepares the new look Wildlife Regulations.

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Have your say on proposed amendments to the National Parks and Wildlife (Wildlife) Regulations 2017. Public consultation has been extended to 15 August 2016

*IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR PERMIT HOLDERS: New permits will not come into effect until 1 July 2017. The species listed in the current schedules will not change until 1 July 2017.

What is being decided?

The Wildlife Regulations govern how members of the public and industry keep, trade and rescue our native animals and the importing and exporting of protected animals to and from the state. They also ensure people collecting native plant material or farming and harvesting wildlife in general do so in a manner that does not adversely affect our wild populations or ecological communities.

The regulations are administered by the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) and as a requirement of legislation, must be reviewed prior to their expiry, which is usually between 10 and 14 years after they were put in place.

After engaging with approximately 160 people, including permit holders, scientists, DEWNR staff and organisations who regularly operate under the Wildlife Regulations, a number of changes have been proposed. These relate to:

  • permit types
  • record-keeping and reporting requirements
  • fees and charges
  • the type of native animals held in captivity that require permits (Schedule 6 and 7)
  • labelling requirements for interstate transport of native animals
  • reporting requirements for the transport of kangaroo carcasses.

The proposed changes aim to make the regulations easier to understand, more efficient in their application and also provide an update to the permit descriptions.

The idea is to reduce confusion around the intent of the regulations, deliver more effective regulation of wildlife and provide protection for animals in the wild. From an operational point of view, the proposed changes also reduce ‘red-tape’ affecting commercial and not-for-profit organisations. Regulations that become easier for all to understand and administer will reduce the incidence of non-compliance, and better balance the needs of the general public, businesses and the science and conservation communities.

If you fit into one of the following categories, then the proposed new regulations will apply to you:

  • keep native animals in your home
  • deal or trade in native animals
  • care for rescued animals
  • commercially harvest kangaroos
  • farm emus, or
  • collect seed and other plant material.

DEWNR encourages all permit holders to become familiar with their obligations as proposed under the draft regulations.

How can your input influence the decision?

Over the next six weeks, DEWNR is asking for feedback on the draft Wildlife Regulations. This is the final opportunity for your input into these draft regulations. All written comments and submissions made about the proposed changes will be considered in preparing the final draft regulations, which will then be put before the SA State Government Cabinet for approval.

The Department is looking for feedback and comments specifically on the proposed changes to the regulations, but if there are other regulations you would like to provide feedback on then let us know. When taking your feedback into account, DEWNR will balance the needs of conservation and science with business and community expectations. A report is to be published on the DEWNR website at the end of the process indicating what was heard and what changed as a result.

To have your say:

Get involved by:

  1. Completing the online survey.
  2. Joining the online discussion.
  3. Providing your comments, suggestions or feedback either by emailing DEWNR.WildlifePolicy@sa.gov.au or sending your feedback to the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Conservation and Sustainability Unit, GPO Box 1047, ADELAIDE SA 5001.

If you have any questions about the proposed Wildlife Regulations 2017, contact DEWNR via email at DEWNR.WildlifePolicy@sa.gov.au or by phone 0467 809 142.

To ensure that your submission* is effective:

  • Clearly state which regulation you are referring to, by name or number.
  • Make your feedback concise and clear.
  • Tell us which regulations you agree with.
  • If you disagree with a regulation, state your reasons why and outline what you would prefer in its place, and why.

*Please note that your submission becomes part of the public record and may be available to anyone who requests a copy, unless you specifically request otherwise.

How will your input be used?

Your input will help shape the revised Wildlife Regulations, which will be finalised in early 2017. This will allow time for relevant organisations and individuals to understand what the changes mean for them ahead of the new permit structure being introduced in July 2017. It also gives the Department an opportunity to put in place some administrative improvements.

Please note: The existing National Parks and Wildlife Regulations 2001 will be remade in their current form by September 2016 in order to meet legislative requirements.




Background


The first phase of the consultation around the Wildlife Regulations involved people and organisations that operate under the Wildlife Regulations on a regular basis. This includes permit holders, traders in native wildlife and wildlife rescue organisations, policy makers, scientists and legal professionals. Their feedback has helped develop the current draft Wildlife Regulations, which DEWNR is consulting more broadly on now.

Here is some of the initial feedback which DEWNR has taken into account when developing the draft regulations:

Permits: The current regulations do not adequately describe the range of activities for which people need to be permitted, such as mobile educational displayers or wildlife rehabilitators/carers. One of the proposals put forward in these draft regulations involves restructuring the permits so the intent of the permit along with the benefits and entitlements of each permit type are clearly understood.

For instance, people who currently provide wildlife destruction and/or capture and relocation services to mitigate harm to people or property would obtain a single permit with endorsements for the wildlife control activities they could undertake, like snake catching or removing possums. People who run a business where protected animals are used for display or educational purposes would obtain a permit specific to their activities.

Dealing/trading in protected animals: The draft regulations include a proposed change to the description of a dealer and dealing in protected animals. The proposed regulation limits the number of trading transactions permitted under Class 1 (name) and 3 (name) permits.

A priority for the South Australian government is to support small business, enabling them to grow and serve the community. This proposal is a positive step toward supporting Fauna Dealing businesses so they may develop in a manner that is beneficial to both the community and our native animals.

Record keeping and reporting: We heard from many permit holders that they would like to see DEWNR acknowledge the electronic age by making business and reporting activities simpler and less demanding. To make this efficient for everyone, the department needs to make some business changes and technology improvements, but these might not come into effect immediately.

The proposed draft regulations do reduce the reporting burden, mainly those associated with commercial activities such as the display of animals away from licensed premises. A small change to the regulations broadens the scope for digital and e-business transactions.

Fees and charges: In many instances where fees are paid for a permit, they will increase as usual in line with regular consumer price index (CPI) adjustments. Permits related to business activities may see fee introductions or an increase in the current fee (ie snake catchers becoming Wildlife Controllers). Some new fees have been proposed for administrative services however there would still be community-orientated and wildlife recovery activities where fees for the necessary permits may be waived in special circumstances or remain free of any fees.

Many people and organisations will experience a more efficient administrative process for themselves and from DEWNR whilst some businesses will have the opportunity to diversify their services.

DEWNR’s intention is to recognise where native plants and animals are being used for commercial gain and amend the current permit fees toward recovering some of the costs associated with their administration.

Keeping schedules: One important regulation proposal involves people who keep kangaroos. The new regulations would require a small number of permit holders to obtain a Specialist or Companion Wildlife Permit endorsed for keeping their kangaroo.

DEWNR has assessed over 800 species using a range of factors and input from people who have an understanding of animal husbandry, commercial trading, animal health and species conservation. Many suggestions have been given to DEWNR about which species should require basic or specialist permitting when kept in captivity and which species should be exempt from permit requirements. Changes have been made in the draft keeping schedules and if necessary they will be amended again after the consultation period.

The aim of the Wildlife Regulation changes is to find a balance between people keeping and breeding animals, enabling wildlife businesses to develop and ensuring our native populations, either captive or wild, are not disadvantaged.

Harvesting kangaroo: There have been some small changes in the regulations which relate to the commercial kangaroo industry. In the near future, all kangaroo industry provisions will move from the Wildlife Regulations into the National Parks and Wildlife (Kangaroo Harvesting) Regulations when those regulations are reviewed and updated.

Consultation timeline


Consultation has concluded
  • What you said

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    To have your say:

    Get involved by

    1. Completing the online survey below.
    2. Joining the online discussion below.
    3. Providing your comments, suggestions or feedback either by emailing DEWNR.WildlifePolicy@sa.gov.au or sending your feedback to the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Conservation and Sustainability Unit, GPO Box 1047, ADELAIDE SA 5001.

    If you have any questions about the proposed Wildlife Regulations 2017, contact DEWNR via email at DEWNR.WildlifePolicy@sa.gov.au or by phone 0467 809 142.

  • April 2017 Update

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    A public consultation process inviting feedback on the the National Parks and Wildlife (Wildlife) Regulations commenced on 27 June 2016 and closed on 15 August 2016.

    The proposed regulations were drafted after targeted consultation with approximately 160 people including permit holders, scientists, DEWNR staff and organisations who regularly operate under the Wildlife Regulations.

    DEWNR is now close to finalising the draft Wildlife Regulations and therefore would like to provide an update on the process and next steps.


    Summary of Feedback

    During the public conulstation phase from July to August, 2016, 45 written submissions were received that included approximately 195 comments on the draft regulations.

    YourSAy consultation - There were 67 respondents to the online survey, with a further 96 comments on the draft regulations for consideration.

    While there were over 20 topics of conversation brought to our attention, the main discussion points were:

    • Wildlife keeping schedules – suggestions on which protected native animals should be listed as exempt, basic or specialist.
    • Draft regulation 33 - proposed definition of a business.
    • The new proposed permits - revised permits, their descriptions and how they might impact on permit choice by our customers.

    Analysis

    The range of responses and informative views raised through the consultation process required detailed consideration from the project team before the regulations could be progressed.

    Following the formal consultation period, the department met with a range of animal trade and keeping representatives, ecologists and wildlife rehabilitators and carers to help resolve the issues raised in the feedback.

    Some key areas of concern emerged from the consultation and the meetings. The Project Steering Committee has been working to balance the concerns of the wildlife keeping and caring community with the conservation and regulatory outcomes required by the legislation.

    1. Significant feedback was received regarding the proposed definition of an animal trading ‘business’ in the proposed Regulation 33(2).
      In light of concerns that the proposed definition would impact unfairly on hobby keepers and breeders, regulation 33(2) has been removed. DEWNR is currently considering a less prescriptive alternative suggested through the consultation process.
    2. Little support was received for the proposed Class 9 Companion Animal Permit. With little uptake this proposal would impose an unnecessary administrative burden upon the department and permitting staff. As a result this permit has been removed.
    3. The wildlife keeping schedules have also been the subject of further consideration following feedback received. A number of changes have been made to the schedules as a result of your suggestions.

    Next Steps

    DEWNR is working with Parliamentary Counsel to settle the draft regulations. It is expected that the regulations will be finalised in mid-2017 with a start date of 1 July 2018.

    The department is also developing an implementation plan to ensure a smooth transition to the new regulations. This will include:

    • information packages for all existing permit holders to explain the regulation changes and what permit choices or changes may need to be made; and
    • updates to the DEWNR website to provide information for existing and new users of the wildlife permit system.

    As we get closer to the new regulations coming into operation we will continue to provide you further information as it becomes available here. A detailed consultation report, highlighting the decisions made in response to consultation feedback, will be produced once the regulations are settled.

    If you have any questions about the proposed Wildlife Regulations 2017 or the next steps, please contact DEWNR via email at DEWNR.WildlifePolicy@sa.gov.au.

  • Updates

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    Regulations will come into operation in June/July 2018

    The Draft Wildlife Regulations 2017 are currently being finalised based on stakeholder feedback. These regulations will come into operation in June/July 2018 (not June/July 2017).

    The Wildlife Regulations 2017 will be available to the public by the end of 2017 to prepare for implementation in June 2018. There will be some interim measures for people seeking new longer term permits (that are issued for 3 or 5 years).

    Permit holders will be sent further information prior to 30 June 2017, during the annual permit renewals process.