Native mammals, birds, reptiles and frogs kept as pets become displaced after they are unwanted, escaped or seized. The Office of Environment and Heritage manages the rehoming of displaced native animal pets, which are regulated under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 in New South Wales. Primarily, animals are balloted to licensed animal keepers and exhibitors. Otherwise, rehoming may be delegated to third party organisations, and pet shops licensed to sell reptiles are obligated to accept back returned reptiles for resale. From 2014 to 2017, at least 1,000 native animal pets were rehomed in New South Wales, the majority of which were reptiles. During this period, there was a significant increase in annual numbers of displaced native animal pets related to a recent increase in displaced reptiles. The majority of cases occurred within the Greater Sydney region. The trends presented in this paper had important implications for a review of the current management framework in light of the increasing volumes. Initial stakeholder consultations have supported the notion of a community education program with an emphasis on responsible pet ownership.

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