Laws

Game hunting activity in Victoria is regulated under Victorian legislation and regulations and the Game Management Authority plays a role in educating game hunters about the relevant laws which are in place to ensure all activity remains legal.

Recreational game hunting is permitted under the Wildlife Act 1975 and regulated under the Wildlife (Game) Regulations 2012.  It is further regulated under a range of other legislation and regulations including, but not limited to:

There are also two codes of practice under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 that apply to hunting and game bird farms. They are:

Responsibilities for game management and hunting in Victoria

Game management involves the monitoring and management of habitats and game populations to achieve sustainable harvest objectives. Regulating hunters and hunting activity contributes to sustainable recreational, social, environmental and economic benefits.  The responsibility for hunting and game management is shared across a range of government departments and agencies because the factors associated with sustainable hunting and game management (game species, water, environment, firearms, land management, pest management etc.) are not the responsibility of any one organisation.  The following table outlines the roles and responsibilities of these organisations in game management in Victoria.

Who

         Role

Minister for Agriculture

  • Lead Minister responsible for game hunting policy
  • Jointly responsible with Environment Minister for any season modifications, including wetland closures, and other decisions under the Wildlife Act 1975

Minister for Environment

  • Jointly responsible with Agriculture Minister for some decisions under the Wildlife Act 1975 which relate to game species, including season modifications, wetland closures and other decisions under the Act

Game Management Authority (GMA)

  • Primary regulator of game hunting on public and private land
  • Responsible for operational policy, licensing, education, research and compliance
  • Can provide advice to government on game and pest management
  • Not responsible for public land management, game species management, water management, habitat management or game and wildlife policy
  • Can issue authorisations to conduct research on or manage game species

Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR)

  • Responsible for statewide game, animal welfare and pest animal policy, including regulatory and legislative advice and development
  • Responsible for instituting any game hunting related decisions under the Wildlife Act 1975, including wetland closure and seasonal modifications
  • Responsible for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 and animal welfare policy, including regulatory and legislative advice and development
  • Responsible for agriculture and meat industry policy, including regulatory and legislative advice and development

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)

  • Responsible for statewide land, water and wildlife management policy, including regulatory and legislative advice and development
  • Responsible for determining public land classifications and permitted activities
  • Responsible for monitoring and research on the status of wildlife, including game jointly with the GMA
  • Responsible for issuing Authorities to Control Wildlife which can include game
  • Manages public land that is not managed by Parks Victoria (e.g. state forests). This includes managing wildlife and the activities that occur on the land DELWP manages
  • Administers the Wildlife Act 1975 and the Wildlife Regulations 2013 and is responsible for wildlife possession, trade and processing, including taxidermy
  • Administers the Wildlife (State Game Reserve) Regulations 2014

Parks Victoria

  • Manages parks and most reserves and the activities that occur on them, including hunting.  National Parks and State Game Reserves are two examples. Game hunting can be permitted in certain parks and reserves, during season

Department of Justice and Regulation

  • Responsible for firearms policy, including regulatory and legislative advice and development

Victoria Police

  • Responsible for the licensing, possession, use and trade in firearms and controlled weapons
  • Important role in ensuring public safety and public order
  • Assists the GMA during enforcement activities

Victorian Environmental Water Holder

  • Responsible for holding and managing Victoria's environmental water entitlements, and making decisions on where environmental water is used to improve and maintain the health of rivers and wetlands, which includes some State Game Reserves and other wetlands used for hunting

Rural Water Corporations

  • Rural water corporations provide water supply, drainage, and salinity mitigation services for irrigation and domestic and stock purposes.  Some of these corporations (e.g. Goulburn-Murray Water) allow hunting on some of the waters they manage and produce information for hunters

Catchment Management Authorities

  • CMAs have management powers over regional waterways, floodplains, drainage and environmental water

RSPCA Victoria

  • Inspectorate has a role in enforcing animal welfare provisions under the Prevention Of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986, including the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals in Hunting