Regional pest management and biosecurity

A number of introduced species of animal are targeted pests in the Cairns Regional Council area:

  • Feral pigs
  • Feral and wild dogs
  • Feral deer
  • Indian Myna birds

Feral Pigs

Feral pigs (Sus scrofa) are a major pest animal in the Wet Tropics area of far north Queensland. Pigs damage the natural environment and pose a major threat to the conservation values of the Wet Tropics World Heritage area. They cause significant losses to agricultural enterprises in the region, and harbour and spread diseases affecting native animals, stock and humans.

Council currently offers a trap loan service. Conditions apply, please contact Council for further information on 4044 3044.

Indian Myna birds

Indian Myna birds were imported into Australia in the 1860s and introduced to Townsville, Ingham and Innisfail to control insects in cane and other crops. Before long, their population had increased dramatically and moved north to the Cairns region.

They are now considered to be pests in Queensland and the Cairns Regional Council local government area. Council relies on the support of community groups and private landholders in the management and eradication of this class of pest.

Other pests

Some other pest animals in our region are generally considered responsibilities of other agencies such as Biosecurity Queensland, which can be contacted on 13 25 23. These pests include:

  • Asian honeybees
  • Electric and yellow crazy ants
  • Ferrets

Responsibilities of Council

  • Ensuring that restricted plants and declared animals are controlled within Council area as outlined in Biosecurity Act 2014.
  • Preventing the introduction and spread of restricted plants and animals within this local government area.
  • Enforcing relevant provisions of the Biosecurity Act 2014.

More information on pest management responsibility can be found in Council's Pest Management Plan. ( PDF, 6.32 MB )

Rats and mice

Introduced rats and mice are subject to health legislation and are not dealt with in Council's pest management process.

Community assistance

Council offers numerous forms of support for local land managers and occupiers experiencing pest issues.

Please contact Council's Natural Areas Land Management Officers for further information on 4044 3044.

Responsibilities of land managers

All Queenslanders have a ‘general biosecurity obligation’ (GBO) under Queensland's Biosecurity Act 2014.

This means that everyone is responsible for managing biosecurity risks that are:

  • under their control and
  • that they know about, or should reasonably be expected to know about.

Under the GBO, individuals and organisations whose activities pose a biosecurity risk must:

  • minimise the likelihood of causing a biosecurity event and limit the consequences if such an event is caused
  • prevent or minimise the harmful effects a risk could have, and not do anything that might make any harmful effects worse.
  • take all reasonable and practical steps to prevent or minimise each biosecurity risk

Specific additional obligations exist under the Act for pests. Check the Biosecurity Plan ( PDF, 6.32 MB ) for more detail.

Biosecurity Plans

Pest plants and animals are seen to be more or less of a threat depending on the primary values for which a landholder is managing the land.

Biosecurity Programs

Council officers now have additional powers under changes to the Queensland Biodiversity Act 2014 to ensure pests are appropriately managed on both public and private property.

To support pest management in the region, Council has released the following biosecurity programs stating intentions to exercise its powers around treatment and surveillance of pests, property access and compliance with the Act:

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Last updated: 20 October 2020