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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 and pest controllers
  • trap or catch and release native animals.
  • destroy native animals on private land

Permits are also available for taking native animals from the wild to bring them into captivity.

Wildlife and pest controllers

You need a permit to operate as a wildlife or native pest 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 for the permit if you meet the criteria for being a wildlife controller, which are listed on the permit application form.

To apply for this permit, download the Wildlife Management (Controller) Permit form. Permit holders must comply with the permit conditions, and certain requirements of the regulationsto ensure human safety and animal welfare.

Check out the Venomous Snake Intervention Policy and Procedure to help guide your wildlife controller activities.

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 options.

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

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

Unprotected animals

You do not 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?
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