Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Ban on Savannah Cats upheld by the Full Federal Court

Media release
3 July 2012

A decision by the former Environment Minister Peter Garrett to ban the importation of Savannah cats has been upheld by the Full Federal Court.

The decision to amend the Live Import List under national environment law had been contested and the case was dismissed by the Federal Court on 18 November 2011.

The applicants then appealed against the Federal Court’s decision.

The three Full Federal Court judges have unanimously ruled that the appeal be dismissed and have awarded costs in favour of the Australian Government.

Environment Minister Tony Burke said the ban was put in place to protect the environment.

“Hybrid cats carrying genes of the African Serval pose a significant risk to our native wildlife.

“This decision leaves no doubt that Peter Garrett made the right decision in 2008.

“Native wildlife in almost every part of our country is threatened day after day by feral cats.

“Everybody who loves the Australian bush should be please to know the courts have backed the Government’s refusal to let another predator in.

“The decision to amend the live import list, effectively banning Savannah cats, was based on expert scientific advice and extensive consultation.”