AnimAl Welfare

It is generally accepted that pest management is a vital and necessary part of agricultural and environmental protection. However, animal welfare applies to all animals and must be a serious consideration for all pest programs.

The BAM Act and its supporting regulations not only require land managers to control declared pests, it in turns provides them with the legal protection to do this work.

However, land managers are still required to adhere to animal welfare legislation (Animal Welfare Act 2002) and use best practice in how they achieve control. The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and the RSPCA take breaches to animal welfare as very serious offences.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is participating in the development of national standards for animal welfare.

A model for assessing the relative humaneness of pest animal control methods (Sharp and Saunders, 2008) has been developed under the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy. This model has been used to assess the humaneness of a variety of methods used to control pest animal species in Australia.

Humaneness assessments are readily available at PestSmart Connect. Click on the species to access humaneness matrices for that species, with links to further information.


The Sporting Shooters Association of Australia WA is a good place to start if you are interested in shooting to control feral animals for wildlife conservation or to help farmers.

SSAA members who participate in these programs have achieved a skill competency equivalent to professional shooter training and have committed to operating under a code of practice that demands safety, animal welfare and ethical behaviour.