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Pet owners urged to check before bringing animals to WA

Photo: A black-soil bearded dragon that was recently rehomed in Queensland after it arrived at Perth Airport
Photo: A black-soil bearded dragon that was recently rehomed in Queensland after it arrived at Perth Airport Matt Swan, Parks and Wildlife

The Department of Parks and Wildlife is encouraging people to check if their pets are allowed in the State before transporting them here.

Parks and Wildlife wildlife officer Teagan Johnston said certain animals, particularly birds and reptiles, could not be kept here as they may pose a threat to WA’s sensitive ecosystems.

“Some pet owners who move from interstate to live and work here assume their bird or lizard will be automatically able to live here too,” Ms Johnston said.

“However most pets, with the exception of cats, dogs and agricultural animals, require an import permit and licence, and not all reptiles, amphibians and birds kept as pets in the eastern states are allowed in WA as they may have a negative impact on native flora and fauna.”

In the past 12 months, more than 20 birds and reptiles that arrived in WA have been sent back east or rehomed at facilities such as Perth Zoo and interstate zoos. Species have included a diamond python, an eastern blue tongue lizard, an eastern water dragon, several Murray river turtles, quaker parrots and green cheeked conures.

Earlier this month, a black-soil bearded dragon (Pogona henrylawsoni) that arrived at Perth Airport on a flight from Sydney had to be rehomed because its owner was unaware the pet lizard could not be kept in WA.

“Quarantine inspectors notified Parks and Wildlife there was no accompanying import permit for the lizard and it was subsequently collected from the airport by wildlife officers,” Ms Johnston said.

“Unfortunately, as this species is not listed as one that can be held under a pet reptile keeper’s licence, the lizard could not be kept here as a pet and our wildlife officers had to find a new home for it in a Queensland zoo.

“We are asking owners to check the Parks and Wildlife’s website before they organise their pets to be transported here so they can avoid a similar situation.

“The department will not take any action against people who come forward and declare animals that have been brought into WA without an import licence or which are a prohibited species.

“Our preferred option is to allow the owners of these animals to send them back to a family member, friend or facility in the state of origin or they can surrender them to Parks and Wildlife to be rehomed.”

For more information and to apply for a licence, go to or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. on 08 9219 9835 (birds) or 08 9219 9834 (reptiles). 


Media contact: Parks and Wildlife Media 9219 9999





Last modified on Wednesday, 12 March 2014 10:15