Code of Practice

Purpose of this code | back

  1. Purpose of this code
    This code of practice (the code) has been prepared by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) in consultation with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), RSPCA Queensland (RSPCA Qld), the Queensland Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (QWRC) and the wildlife care community. This code will ensure that the activities of all parties involved in the care and rehabilitation of native animals in Queensland result in the best possible conservation and animal welfare outcomes for rehabilitated animals and the wild populations they are returned to.

    This code is made under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (the Act), and in consideration of the Nature Conservation (Wildlife Management) Regulation 2006 (the Wildlife Management Regulation), Nature Conservation (Administration) Regulation 2006 (the Administration Regulation), Nature Conservation (Wildlife) Regulation 2006 (the Wildlife Regulation), Animal Care and Protection Act 2001, Veterinary Surgeons Act 1936 and Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995..
    1. The purpose of this code is to provide information, recommendations, minimum standards and guidelines to ensure that all parties involved in the care and rehabilitation of protected animals in Queensland do so in an appropriate manner.
    2. The code emphasises the responsibility of all persons and organisations involved in the care, rehabilitation and release of sick, injured or orphaned protected animals to ensure that:
      1. animal welfare meets acceptable standards                                                      
      2. conservation benefits are maximised                                                                                                      
      3. adverse ecological outcomes are avoided
      4. risks to human health and safety are minimised.
    3. The code gives due regard to the many factors that determine what is appropriate in the circumstances, including:
      1. current community values and expectations regarding the management and rehabilitation of sick, injured or orphaned animals
      2. the values and opinions of wildlife rehabilitators and others with expertise
      3. the importance of minimising the suffering of sick, injured or orphaned animals, and in particular the role of timely euthanasia in appropriate cases
      4. the responsibility of EHP to protect and conserve the environment, ecosystems and wildlife
      5. the risks to human health and safety associated with the rescue, care and rehabilitation of protected animals in Queensland
      6. the relevant legislation as stated in section 1 under ‘Purpose of this code’
      7. the availability of resources, such as access to veterinary facilities or expertise.
    4. There are other Acts and legislative instruments that may make provisions about, or affect certain aspects of wildlife care and rehabilitation, such as local laws regarding the keeping of animals, or laws about trespassing on private property. It is not the intent of this code to deal with all of these provisions.

View the Code of Practice as a single document (PDF, 245KB)