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The department regulates the management of wildlife in accordance with the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 (NPW Act) which provides for the conservation of wildlife in a natural environment. Under the NPW Act, a Permit to Destroy Wildlife may be granted to a person to allow the destruction or removal of certain animals that are causing damage to the environment, crops, stock or other property.

A permit may also be granted for other reasons, for example where wildlife presents a threat to human safety. The destruction of any animal must comply with Codes of practice or animal welfare standards outlined in the Animal Welfare Act 1985 (the AW Act) and the regulations under that Act.

Why permits are granted

The purpose of a permit is to allow people to reduce the impact caused by wildlife, not to reduce wildlife populations. A Permit to Destroy Wildlife authorises the holder to destroy wildlife in conjunction with non-lethal methods they are already using.

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

  • the extent of the damage (either environmental or economic) being caused, or likely to be caused
  • the underlying cause of the problem
  • the level of threat that native animals present to human safety
  • what non-lethal management methods are available, whether these methods have been carried out and their level of success
  • whether destruction is the most effective method of reducing the damage
  • whether an integrated approach (using non-lethal and lethal methods) will provide the best outcome
  • whether the technique used to take native animals is humane and complies with the Animal Welfare Act 1985, appropriate Codes of practice or animal welfare standards
  • whether destroying or removing native animals would have a detrimental effect on the conservation of the species or the environment.

Codes of practice

Codes of practice seek to ensure animal welfare by specifying the most appropriate humane method of destroying animals to minimise pain and suffering. Compliance with an approved Code of practice is a condition of permit.

Permit conditions

A 'summary of animals destroyed under permit' must be completed within 14 days of a permit expiring. You will not be issued with a new permit until you have provided this information for previously held permit(s).

More information:

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