Net traps

Use of traps is regulated under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2019. These regulations specify:

  • the types of traps that can be used
  • conditions of use
  • where they can be used.

If you are intending to use traps you must meet the legal requirements. These are the regulatory requirements for net traps.

Net trap definition

A net trap is a trap made of netting that is used for the purposes of catching or holding an animal.

Net trap features

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 net traps can be used

A net trap can only be used if the land owner or occupier of the land has given their consent. In the case of Crown land, the manager of the land needs to give consent.

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
  • the risk of catching non-target species.

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).

'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).

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.

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. Penalty units are updated each year on 1 July. In the 2019 to 2020 financial year a penalty unit was valued at $165.22.

Further information

Confinement traps are regulated under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2019.

For more information about confinement traps and Ministerial approvals call our Customer Service Centre on 136 186.

Page last updated: 12 Feb 2024