Wildlife Rescue 1300 094 737

About Wild For Life 

"There are enough problems with the abuse of pets without having people trying to make pets out of our native wildlife, which has not been bred for close proximity with humans"

Peter Singer

As an organisation committed to preserving Australia’s wildlife, WIRES is heavily invested in welfare and conservation outcomes for native species. 

WIRES strongly opposes the proposal to expand the list of native animals which can be kept as pets in NSW. These animals belong in the wild where they can exhibit natural behaviours and live in habitats which are suited to their specific needs.

Many of the species on the proposed list have huge home ranges and travel long distances to find partners and food. Some of the species live in large groups with complex social structures, others live in close family groups and can develop depression and other health problems if kept alone.

Many of the native species have unique behaviours including gliding and burrowing which require space and specific surroundings to perform. By keeping them in captivity and in a confined space we would be stripping them of the fundamental things which make them such fascinating and unique creatures.          

The case for freedom of movement and freedom to express natural behaviours is one that we believe is strong enough to oppose this proposal. There are however many other reasons why the expansion should not be considered including animal welfare risks, biosecurity concerns and exposing more native animals to the illegal wildlife trade.

Native reptiles, which are already being kept as pets in NSW suffer in the illegal wildlife trade. Every year reptiles are caught from the wild then sold as captive bred, bred in horrific conditions and sent overseas to international buyers. Many of these animals suffer stress and disease, some die.  

There is no awareness or education available for people who want to keep native mammals as pets. Specialised food and appropriate enclosures would be difficult to source and potential pet owners would struggle to find a vet which has experience treating these species. 

A major reason cited for keeping mammals as pets in NSW is conservation and awareness for endangered species. This rationale is based on falsities as the animals which will be kept as pets should this proposal be approved will not be genetically tracked and will therefore be unable to assist in breeding programs or reintroduction projects. 

By allowing people to keep these animals as pets we will be devaluing them and actually hindering conservation efforts. 

11 of the species in the proposed list are currently on the NSW Threatened Species List, 3 are categorised as endangered. There are a further 4 species on the list which are presumed extinct in NSW, already having lost their conservation battle in this state. 

If approved, this will have long lasting and significant ramifications to the native wildlife in NSW. Once the changes have been implemented it will be near impossible to reverse them or minimise their impacts. 

We must protect the 37 species listed in the proposal and keep these animals safe in the wild where they belong.

  1. Spinifex Hopping Mouse
  2. Mitchells Hopping Mouse (presumed extinct in NSW)
  3. Plains Mouse
  4. Sugar Glider
  5. Squirrel Glider (vulnerable)
  6. Fat Tailed Dunnart
  7. Brushtail Possum
  8. Ringtail Possum
  9. Long-nosed potoroo (vulnerable)
  10. Red necked Paddymelon (vulnerable)
  11. Tasmanian Pademelon
  12. Brush-tailed Bettong (presumed extinct in NSW)
  13. Burrowing Bettong (presumed extinct in NSW)
  14. Rufous Bettong (vulnerable)
  15. Parma Wallaby (vulnerable)
  16. Tammar Wallaby
  17. Southern Brown Bandicoot (Endangered)
  18. Kowari
  19. Red necked Wallaby
  20. Swamp Wallaby
  21. Black striped Wallaby (Endangered)
  22. Bare-nosed Wombat
  23. Eastern Quoll (Endangered)
  24. Northern Quoll
  25. Western Quoll (presumed extinct in NSW)
  26. Tiger Quoll (vulnerable)
  27. Feather-tailed Glider
  28. Quokka
  29. Rakali
  30. Koala (vulnerable)
  31. Grey-headed Flying Fox (vulnerable)
  32. Ghost Bat
  33. Wallaroo
  34. Eastern Grey Kangaroo
  35. Kangaroo island Kangaroo
  36. Western Grey Kangaroo
  37. Red Kangaroo 
We are collaborating with key partners on this campaign, to read more about the complex issues of this proposal visit www.wild4life.org.au.
Visit wires.org.au for more information.