It is important that methods to control or manage pest animals are humane and target specific. Several policies have been developed in recent years to address the issue of humane pest animal control.
The Australian Government has developed the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy (AAWS) to ensure the humane treatment of all animals in Australia and the relative humaneness of a range of pest animal control methods has been assessed.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) discuss animal welfare impacts for target and non-target species and describe techniques and their application, as well as covering health and safety aspects. A model Code of Practice (COP) for each of the key pest animal species provides general information on best practice management, control strategies, species biology and impact, and the humaneness of current control methods.
This section provides information on humaneness assessments for different pest control methods, as well as the model Codes of Practice and Standard Operating Procedures. Links to the SOPs and COPs for each species are also available on the relevant species pages.
The SOPs are guiding documents only and can be modified by jurisdictions to suit their particular needs and legislation. The COPs have been endorsed by the national Vertebrate Pest Committee and are in the process of being reviewed and endorsed by higher level Government committees. At the present time, they too remain as guiding or model documents.