Guidelines for the Import, Movement and Keeping of Non-indigenous Vertebrates in Australia

These guidelines outline a national approach within the context of Australian Government, state and territory  legislation to minimise the risks posed by the importation (both into Australia and from one jurisdiction to another), movement and keeping of non-indigenous vertebrates. The guidelines were produced by the Vertebrate Pests  Committee (VPC) and update the previous guidelines that were published in 2004, 1991 and 1983.

The guidelines focus on the development of appropriate strategies to prevent the establishment of new species that  pose significant risk to the environment, primary production or social values including public safety. The adopted approach to managing non-indigenous vertebrates is based on the principles for vertebrate pest management now  accepted across Australian jurisdictions.

The VPC considered the various scientific approaches that can be used to assess and manage the risks associated with  the import and keeping of non-indigenous vertebrates. The most valuable approach has come from published  scientific knowledge relating to the probability of establishment, and the potential to have negative impacts on  environmental, economic and social values, including public safety. This scientific knowledge comes from detailed studies of past introductions of non-indigenous species within Australia and/or overseas, and the factors that affect  establishment success and pest status. Potential for the spread of diseases that are not known to occur in the natural
environment in Australia is an additional factor that has come to prominence in recent years.

A significant element of these guidelines will be the risk assessment models for establishment of exotic vertebrates in Australia and New Zealand (Bomford 2008) and earlier reviews and models (Bomford 2006, Bomford et al 2005 and Bomford 2003) and any future updates agreed to by VPC.

Guidelines for managing the risk posed by species within each of the four VPC Threat categories identified by the risk  assessment models and/or the policy principles outlined in Section 3.4 are detailed in Section 4.

Whilst this document concentrates on risk assessment and risk management, it also recognises that risk  communication is important. There should be an open exchange of information between risk assessors, risk managers  and those who will be affected by the decisions taken.

Reference type Policy Document
Author Vertebrate Pests Committee
Year 2014
Department Department of Agriculture
Pages 66
ISBN/ISSN ISBN 978-1-76003-065-0 (online)

Guidelines for the Import, Movement and Keeping of Non-indigenous Vertebrates in Australia    [1.1Mb PDF]

Region Australia - national

Invasive Plants and Animals Committee  (formerly Vertebrate Pests Committee)