Parks Victoria is urging livestock managers to be responsible and prevent their animals from wandering into parks and reserves.
Parks Victoria is committed to identifying and managing threats to the protection of a diverse network of parks that are home to more than 4,300 native plant species and 948 native animal species.
Grazing cattle in parks damages habitat native animals rely on and is banned unless the owner has a grazing licence.
The call follows a recent case near Orbost in Gippsland where a landowner repeatedly allowed cattle to roam in a coastal reserve, impacting the fragile coastal picnic area and campground and disrupted local community and campers.
It is an offence under the Crown Land Reserves Regulations to bring in or allow an animal into the reserve and fail to control it from causing damage.
Landowners near parks and reserves are encouraged to check and maintain fences, and keep gates shut to prevent livestock roaming.
Parks Victoria regional enforcement co-ordinator Martin Downs said most livestock owners were responsible and did the right thing but occasionally Parks Victoria staff found livestock grazing in parks. “We urge all livestock managers to keep their animals out of parks and reserves to prevent damaging Victoria’s natural environment,” he said.
“Parks Victoria will always attempt to resolve issues with stock owners, however we also have the power to levy fines or to seize animals as a last resort.”
Anyone with information about environmental offences in a park such as behaviour that may cause damage to vegetation or ecosystems can contact Parks Victoria on 13 1963 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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