What is a Wildlife Protection Area?
Under the NSW Companion Animals Act 1998 Council can prohibit cats and/or dogs from public lands for the protection of wildlife and these lands are referred to as a Wildlife Protection Area (WPA).
Wildlife Protection Areas can be declared as one of two categories:
- Category 1 lands prohibit both cats and dogs as per S.30 c.1(b) and S.14 c. 1(h) of the NSW Companion Animals Act 1998.
- Category 2 lands prohibit cats as per S.30 c.1(b) of the NSW Companion Animals Act 1998. Dogs that are on a leash will be permitted on formed tracks, pathways or roads in Category 2 lands.
Why is Council introducing trial Wildlife Protection Areas?
Following adoption of the Council’s Companion Animals Management Plan (Cats and Dogs) 2008-11 there were community requests to consider the declaration of public lands as a Wildlife Protection Area, as defined in the NSW Companion Animals Act 1998.
In response Council developed and adopted the Wildlife Protection Area Policy on the 23rd November 2010. The Wildlife Protection Area Policy provides the framework for the Council to declare public lands, or part thereof, as a WPA.
The Wildlife Protection Area Policy has the following objectives:
1) To provide a transparent, community supported process to enable the Council to declare a public place, or part thereof, as a Wildlife Protection Area;
2) To protect native wildlife in Council managed reserves;
3) To reduce the area of land subject to impacts associated with companion animals; and
4) To further communicate the responsibility of companion animal ownership.
Council manages more than 350 bushland reserves covering approximately 9,945 hectares and has given its support for the trialling of 2 trial Wildlife Protection Areas within this reserve system with the aim of assessing the efficacy of Wildlife Protection Areas in protecting wildlife.