Environmental Protection Act in brief – in relation to protection of endangered cassowary populations

Date: 2 February 2017
Submitted by: Ingrid Marker, Cassowary Keystone Conservation


Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999


Part 3

Division 1 – A person must not take an action that has, will,or is likely to have a significant impact on the world heritage values of a declared World Heritage property.

Subdivision 3 – A person must not take an action that has,will, or is likely to have a significant impact on a listed threatened species included in the endangered category.

196  Killing or injuring member of listed threatened species or community

(1)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

(a)  the person takes an action; and

(b)  the action results in the death or injury of a member of a species or a member of an ecological community; and

(c)  the member is a member of a listed threatened species (except a conservation dependent species) or of a listed threatened ecological community; and

(d)  the member is in or on a Commonwealth area.



Division 1: The southern cassowary is an outstanding universal value of this World Heritage Area as disperses the seed of hundreds of plant species and plays an integral ecological role in maintaining ecosystem health of World Heritage Wet Tropical rainforests. A majority of the Daintree coast is declared World Heritage property yet the 8460ha of ‘undeclared’ freehold property, between the Daintree River and Cape Tribulation also maintains natural and cultural world heritage values. Neither wildlife nor unrestrained dogs restrict their movements to within World Heritage boundaries.

Subdivision 3: The on-going and unaccounted threat of death by dog attack of the endangered cassowary is deemed a ‘significant impact’.

The action in question is of persons allowing or releasing an identified threat (dog) to wander at large or hunt in critical cassowary habitat. This is also a case of neglect where a person fails to restrain their pet or hunting dogs from roaming on their property (which may contain critical endangered species habitat) and onto adjoining declared World Heritage Areas, in which they may kill protected and threatened wildlife.

196 The killing or injuring of an endangered species applies to a person taking an action to do so rather than preventing the killing or injuring. Only National Park and Nature Reserves in the Daintree are a commonwealth area, therefore it is not the Act does not protect an endangered species from being killed or injured on private land. 



Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act, 2008


Any domestic dog over 12 weeks old must be micro-chipped and registered within 14 days of commencing ownership. Local Government should make renewal period < 3 years provide an incentive for de-sexing dogs and cats through a registration fee reduction.  De-sexed animals must have tattooed marking.

‘Regulated dogs’ are those declared by local government as dangerous, menacing or restricted breed dogs.   They must be under effective control at all times and may require specific permitting, compulsory de-sexing, imposed keeping and control conditions and may be destroyed under particular circumstances.  The owner of a regulated dog must not abandon it for an unreasonable period or allow it to breed with another dog.

A dangerous dog declaration may be made for a dog if it has seriously attacked or acted in a way that caused fear to a person or another animal

A menacing dog declaration may be made for a dog if it has attacked or acted in a way that caused fear to a person or another animal except the attack was not serious.

Restricted breed dogs are breeds that are prohibited from being imported into Australia (Customs Act 1901).

Investigation, monitoring and enforcement of this Act should be undertaken by an ‘authorized person’. A local government may by resolution approve a program (an approved inspection program) under which an authorized person may enter a place to monitor compliance with this Act or an aspect of this Act. The authorized person can seize the dog if they believe it has attacked, threatened or acted in a way that causes fear to, a person or another animal or may be of risk to community health and safety.

Chapter 9 Part 1

194 The person responsible for the dog must ensure dog does not attack or cause fear to someone else or another animal (animal does not include vermin)

195 Prohibition on allowing or encouraging dog to attack or cause fear to someone else or another animal

196 Defences for offence against s 194 or 195

(1) It is a defence to a prosecution for an offence against section 194 or 195 for the defendant to prove—an attack on an animal, the dog was engaged in hunting the animal on private property when the offence happened.

Thank you for the time to look at the informant I have sent you, to help the Political will meet the public’s expectations.

Kind regards

Ingrid Marker
Cassowary Keystone Conservation Inc
Finalist Cassowary Awards “Education 2016”
Nominated Australia Awards “Environment 2017”