Trapping possums

You have a legal responsibility to deal with a possum problem in a humane manner. In South Australia all possums are protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 and the Animal Welfare Act 1985.


You must have a permit to capture, release or kill a possum. Any conditions imposed on permits must be observed. Permits must be obtained before trapping possums.

Things you need to know about trapping possums

Capture is stressful to possums and can cause harm and distress to them if the trap is not managed properly. You must consider the following issues:

  • the amount of time the possum will spend in the trap
  • protection of the possum from predators
  • protection from environmental effects such as dehydration.

Position the trap inside the roof space near the possum's access point. Make sure the trap is secure and stable to avoid injury to the possum. This needs to be done on the day you will possum-proof your house, especially if the possum is still in your roof at this time.

Set the trap at dusk and check each morning. Close the trap every morning so that possums are not caught in the heat of the day. Reset the trap at dusk.

NOTE: trapping and releasing possums without possum-proofing your building will not solve the problem.

Releasing possums

The possum must be released on the same property, within 50 metres of the capture site, within 24 hours. The time of release must be consistent with the possum's usual time of movement (after dusk).

At the time of release, all reasonable steps must be taken to protect the possum from injury or predation by other animals.

The person managing the possum trap must comply with animal welfare standards outlined in the Animal Welfare Act 1985, the regulations under that Act and any other relevant Codes of practice.

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