26 September 2023

New standards to protect reptile pets

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City Services is marking Territory firsts with the introduction of new codes of practice to ensure Canberra’s reptiles are properly cared for.

Announcing the commencement of two new codes, the Directorate said they outlined the minimum standards of care for keeping reptiles in captivity and for specialists in rescue and rehabilitation of native wildlife.

It said the Codes of Practice were Animal Welfare (Private Keeping of Native Reptiles) Mandatory Code of Practice 2022 and Animal Welfare (Welfare of Native Wildlife – Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release) Mandatory Code of Practice 2022.

“Just like cats, dogs and other pets, each reptile has their own unique personality from shy and standoffish to relaxed, confident and playful,” City Services said.

“While reptiles may be less time-consuming to care for than some other pets, they do require care and attention to thrive including regular feeding, access to fresh water, health care and cleaning of their enclosures.”

It said under the Private Keeping of Native Reptiles Code, all reptile owners were responsible for the health and wellbeing of their reptiles, including providing them with ready access to suitable food and clean water; freedom to move about, express a range of natural behaviours and to avoid cage-mates; and a correct living environment.

City Services said the Code, now in effect, also covered appropriate handling for maintaining health and well-being, alleviation of sickness or suffering, and responsible distribution of offspring bred in captivity.

Further information on the two Codes of Practice can be accessed at this PS News link.

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