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Licences & permits > Wildlife permits > Permit types

Manage, control or destroy wildlife

Although most native wildlife is protected by state laws, there are situations where protected animals need to be managed, controlled or even destroyed.

Wildlife control must be lawful and well planned. If you want to control wildlife on your property or elsewhere, you must obtain a permit to do so.

If you do obtain a permit, you must abide by the permit conditions, relevant codes of practice or animal welfare standards.

What permit do I need?

There are different permits available to:

Wildlife controllers

You need a permit to operate as a wildlife controller. The permit allows you to legally catch and release protected animals from commercial and residential homes and backyards. For example, you can apply for a permit to remove snakes, possums or birds causing a nuisance.

You can apply online for the permit if you meet the criteria for being a wildlife controller, which are listed on the permit application form.

Permit holders must comply with the permit conditions, and certain requirements of the regulations, to ensure human safety and animal welfare.

Check out the Venomous Snake Intervention Policy and Procedure to help guide your wildlife controller activities where it involves capture and removal of venomous snakes.

Trap or catch and release possums

You need a permit to trap or catch and release possums on your property.

The permit can be granted if the applicant can prove that one or more possums are a nuisance and no alternative method solves the problem.

To apply for this permit, download the Trap and Release Protected Wildlife Permit form. Permit holders must comply with the permit conditions, and certain requirements of the regulations.

Check out the possum guidelines to help guide your trapping and releasing activities.

Destroy wildlife causing damage

Landowners may wish to destroy or remove protected animals because the animals are damaging or likely to damage the environment, crops, stock, property, or environmental amenity (including built structures), or are posing a safety risk or hazard to people or industry.

Before you apply to destroy native animals, consider ways you could live with or manage the wildlife in some other way. In the permit application form, you will need to explain how you have investigated other non-lethal options.

To apply for this permit, download the Permit to Destroy Wildlife form.

If you obtain a permit to destroy wildlife, you must minimise the animal’s suffering. There are codes of practice and animal welfare standards to help you with this.

Permit applicants can nominate other persons to destroy wildlife on the property they own or occupy if they hold a valid and current firearms license and are listed on the permit. This permission to enter land form may be completed by a landowner to give written permission for a person to destroy protected animals on their property.

If you’re unsure if you can destroy impact causing wildlife on your property, check out the decision tree on our factsheet.

Unprotected animals

You do not generally need a permit to destroy Unprotected animals, this includes destroying galahs and little corellas by shooting. However, you must obtain a permit if you intend to trap and use carbon dioxide narcosis to destroy galahs and little corellas.

Protected animals

You need a permit to destroy any native animal not listed as Unprotected. You can apply for a permit to:

How are applications assessed?

The purpose of a permit is to allow people to reduce the impacts of wildlife, not to reduce wildlife populations. The permit allows the holder to destroy wildlife in conjunction with non-lethal methods they are already using.

When deciding whether to grant a permit, we consider the following (in no particular order):

  • What is the extent (or likely extent) of the damage, whether environmental or economic?
  • What is the underlying cause of the problem?
  • What is the level of threat to human safety?
  • Are there non-lethal alternative methods, have they been attempted, and how successful were they?
  • Is destruction the most effective method of reducing damage?
  • Would an integrated approach using non-lethal and lethal methods provide the best outcome?
  • Is the technique proposed to destroy native animals humane and does it comply with the Animal Welfare Act 1985, codes of practice or animal welfare standards?
  • Will destroying native animals have a detrimental effect on the conservation of the species or the environment?