Wildlife officers

Our wildlife officers are authorised by law to undertake compliance and enforcement activities under the Wildlife Act 1975, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 and other relevant Victorian laws.

Wildlife officers (also known as "authorised officers") may carry out the following activities in the course of their duties:

  • Provide advice to the public on how to comply with Victorian law relating to wildlife and how to deal with issues with wildlife, or manage wildlife, appropriately, humanely and legally
  • Investigate reports of alleged illegal activity relating to wildlife
  • Assess applications and issue authorisations under the Wildlife Act 1975 for the management of wildlife
  • Monitoring of authorisation and licence holder’s compliance with the conditions of their permit, including inspection of the premises, wildlife held under the permit, and record books and any other documentation associated with the permit.

Inspections are usually – but not always – conducted by uniformed officers . Whether uniformed or in plain clothes, officers will always show you official identification. If identification is not offered, you should ask to see it.

Participating in an inspection it does not mean that you have done anything wrong. Inspections are often conducted to monitor general compliance trends among licence holders.

As an authorisation or licence holder you have certain rights and obligations.

Your obligations

If requested, you must: 

  • Give the officer your name and address
  • Allow an officer to inspect wildlife held by you
  • Produce your licence or record book for inspection
  • Allow the officer to search your vehicle, boat or property (or house at any reasonable time)
  • Surrender anything the officer tells you is seized
  • Comply with any retention notice issued for wildlife in your possession
  • Not obstruct, threaten or abuse an officer in the course of his or her duty.

Your rights 

  • You may ask to see a wildlife officer's identification
  • You do not have to answer any questions that you think might incriminate you
  • If you are to be interviewed about an offence, you will be informed of your rights. You must, however, state your full name and correct address if asked. It is in your best interests to cooperate with officers
  • You may request a receipt for anything seized from you
  • If you keep wildlife inside your house, it is a condition of your licence that you allow inspection of that wildlife by an authorised officer at any reasonable time for the purpose of monitoring compliance with the Wildlife Act, regulations or conditions of the licence.