Policy adopted October 2001
Policy last updated June 2019
Scope and application
This policy applies to all lands acquired or reserved under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 except for lands reserved under Part 4A of the NPW Act (unless the Board of Management for those lands has adopted the policy). However, NPWS staff can use the policy as guidance in their dealings with Boards of Management.
This policy aims to communicate:
- that pets are not generally permitted in parks
- that assistance animals are permitted in parks, subject to appropriate evidence being provided
- the rules for travelling across parks with pets, working dogs, and use of dogs by NPWS.
Acquired land means land acquired by the Minister under Part 11 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974, but that has not been reserved as a national park or other type of reserve.
Assistance animals are trained to assist a person with a disability to alleviate the effect of that disability. They provide an important service that can enable people to more fully participate in personal and public life activities with more confidence and independence.
Consistent with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth), the NSW Office of Local Government defines an assistance animal as a dog or other animal that is either:
- accredited under a law of a State or Territory that provides for the accreditation of animals trained to assist a person with a disability to alleviate the effect of that disability
- accredited by an animal training organisation prescribed by the Commonwealth
- trained to assist a person with a disability to alleviate the effect of that disability, and, to meet standards of hygiene and behaviour appropriate for an animal in a public place.
Therapy Animals are not assistance animals, they provide therapeutic interactions in facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities etc. Therapy animals do not have public access rights as assistance animals.
Disability has the same meaning as in the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act.
Park means an area of land reserved under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (including a national park, nature reserve, historic site, Aboriginal area, state conservation area, karst conservation reserve, regional park) or any land acquired by the Minister under Part 11 of the Act.
Pet means an animal generally kept in a domestic situation for the benefit of the animal and its owner. Pets may be native or non-native animals including (but not limited to) dogs, cats, other small mammals, reptiles and birds, but not horses and other livestock.
Plan of management means a plan of management prepared under Part 5 of the NPW Act.
Recognised training provider means an assistance training organisation recognised by the NSW Office of Local Government. To achieve this recognition, the organisation must show their training program has met the standards established by Assistance Dogs International Inc (ADI) and must be listed on the ADI website as Australian-affiliated programs.
Wild dog means a dingo, a hybrid or a feral dog.
Working dog means a dog used primarily for droving, tending, working or protecting stock.
This section outlines NPWS staff with significant responsibilities for ensuring implementation of the policy.
|4. Consent for a pet to be brought into acquired land
||Area Manager or Team Leader Rangers
|8. Receiving evidence for an assistance animal
||Ranger, Field Officer, Visitor Services Assistant, Campground Manager or other staff relevant to the situation
|15. Approval, where necessary, for transport of pets to private property within, or adjacent to, the park
||Area Manager or Team Leader Rangers
|17. Use of domestic animals for park management
The accountable officer may allocate this role to an officer authorised under the relevant delegation instrument.