Victoria’s RSPCA has responded to a Kinglake Ranges News report regarding the illegal shooting of wombats at Dude Ranch, Murrindindi.
The Victorian Government’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is the lead agency on wildlife and authorised under POCTAA to investigate any cases of cruelty and killing.
Native wildlife is protected in Victoria.
It is a criminal offence to kill, take, control or harm wildlife under the Wildlife Act 1975 so one must be asked how the hunting of wombats has been allowed to continue unchecked until 60 Minutes and Kinglake Ranges News published/broadcast the report.
Under the Wildlife Act it is also an offence to use poisons to kill, destroy or take wildlife.
Severe penalties (including imprisonment and fines) apply to those found guilty of an offence under the Wildlife Act. https://www.wildlife.vic.gov.au/managing-wildlife/wildlife-management-and-control-authorisations
This Act is enforced by DELWP who also has authorised officers under POCTAA.
RSPCA Victoria continues advocating to the Victorian government on changes to legislation to improve animal welfare.
The RSPCA encourages those concerned to raise their concerns with the appropriate agencies to ensure that legislation for positive animal welfare is robust and reflects community expectations.
-With RSPCA (Victoria).