Pest animals

Pest animals are non-native species which pose a biosecurity threat — they often have negative environmental, economic and social impacts on Port Stephens. Find out which animals are pests, who is responsible for managing pest animals and who to contact.

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What is a pest animal?

Pest animals are managed under the Biosecurity Act 2015, according to the Hunter Regional Strategic Pest Animal Management Plan. This plan sets out the pest animals which must be managed in Port Stephens and how to manage them.

Pest animals in Port Stephens include:

  • rabbits
  • wild dogs
  • feral pigs
  • foxes
  • deer
  • cats
  • horses
  • goats
  • feral birds
  • introduced fish species.

There are other species which may seem to be a pest but are native to Australia, including:

  • kangaroos
  • flying foxes
  • termites
  • mosquitoes.

Council has no requirement to control these animals and we are prohibited to harm them.

For more information on pests in NSW, visit the Department of Primary Industries Pest Species in NSW website.

Who is responsible for pest animals?

All community members have a general biosecurity duty to prevent, minimise or eliminate any biosecurity risk.

Land owners or occupiers must 'continually suppress and destroy pest species that pose a biosecurity risk' in line with the Local Land Services Act 2013 and the Biosecurity Act 2015.

Local Land Services (LLS) is the regulatory authority on pest animals with the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and are responsible for the legislation for vertebrate pest control. It's Local Land Services' role to develop community programs, provide advice, assist land managers and participate in on-ground detection and control.

Port Stephens Council is responsible for the management of vertebrate pest animals on land we own, occupy or manage. Our Invasive Species Team are more than happy to provide information and advice on pest animal management.

Who to contact

QueryOrganisation Contact information
Medowie Rabbit Control ProgramPort Stephens CouncilRegister here
Feral deer sightingsNational Feral Deer Action Plan - National coordination

NSW Department of Primary Industries / Centre for Invasive Species Solutions 

0407 622 191
For pest animal control advice Hunter Local Land Service
Port Stephens Council
Invasive Species Team
1300 795 299
02 4988 0255
Report pest animals on Council land Port Stephens Council
Invasive Species Team
02 4988 0255
Other invasive animal enquires or to report declared pest animals Hunter Local Land Service 1300 795 299
Report unusual animal sightings Department of Primary Industries
Stray cats and dogs Port Stephens Council 02 4988 0255
Insect and rodent pests For insect pests please contact a local pest management contractor 
Bees on Council land posing a threat to safety Port Stephens Council 02 4988 0255
Bees on private land Amateur Beekeeper Association NSWFind a Beekeeper