Snakes are protected under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and it is an offence to kill, injure or take snakes from the wild.

Snakes play an important role in maintaining the natural environment. Along with other reptiles, they make up a significant proportion of the middle-order predators that keep natural ecosystems working. Without them, the numbers of prey species would increase to unnatural levels and the predators that eat snakes would struggle to find food.

Snakes usually prefer to retreat when encountered but, if they feel threatened, they can become defensive. Most snake bites are received by people who try to capture or kill a snake.

If you encounter a snake, don't panic. Back away to a safe distance and allow the snake to move away. Snakes often want to escape when disturbed.

When left alone, snakes present little or no danger to people.

Snakes and your home

If there is a chance that a snake could find its way into your home, you should keep the number of a snake catcher on hand. You can obtain the details of a local snake catcher by searching the Yellow Pages.