Published: June 2011
Use of traps is regulated under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2008. These regulations specify the types of traps that can be used, the conditions of use and where they can be used. If you are intending to use traps you must ensure you are meeting the legal requirements. This fact sheet provides a summary of the regulatory requirements for net traps.
What is a net trap?
A net trap is a trap made of netting that is used for the purposes of catching and/or holding an animal.
What features must net traps have?
A net trap may be used to entangle an animal but must be constructed of materials designed to minimise any injury to the animal. The trap must not be made of monofilament netting.
Where can net traps be used?
A net trap can only be used if the land owner or occupier of the land or, in the case of Crown land, the manager of the land, has given their consent.
What are the conditions of using net traps?
A net trap that is designed to be triggered by an animal must be checked at least every four hours. If the net trap is designed to be triggered by a person or is set across the path of an animal such as a bird or bat, it must be constantly monitored.
The trap must be set or used so as to minimise any harm caused to a trapped animal and to minimise the risk of catching non-target species.
What are the conditions of releasing or disposing of trapped animals?
It is recommended that removal of animals is done by a person experienced in handling the target species or under the supervision of such a person.
If the trapped animal is a declared pest animal it must be humanely destroyed* as soon as is reasonably possible (unless the person who owns it is authorised to own it under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 and the animal can be returned to its owner).
Any other animal, if injured, must be taken to a veterinary practitioner for treatment as soon as possible, or if severely injured, may be humanely destroyed. If the animal is uninjured and is a dog or cat, it must be taken to the local council.
Uninjured wildlife should be released promptly. Any other uninjured non-target animal must be taken to an animal shelter or other appropriate animal care facility.
What are the penalties for illegal use of net traps?
The maximum penalties for illegal sale and use of traps are 240 penalty units or imprisonment for two years, in the case of a natural person, and 1,200 penalty units, in the case of a body corporate. As of 1st July 2011, one penalty unit is $122.14, subject to review annually.
Confinement traps are regulated under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2008, which can be accessed through the prevention of cruelty to animals legislation page.
For more information about confinement traps and Ministerial approvals call the DEDJTR customer service centre on 136 186 or read more about Animal Welfare.
'Animal Welfare - It's your Duty to Care'
*Note: 'Humanely destroy' means causing the death of an animal by a means that results in immediate loss of consciousness and then death of the animal (without recovering consciousness).