WA Environment Minister Stephen Dawson is encouraging people to have their say on licences for wildlife rehabilitators, with further consultation now underway.
The WA Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) is seeking input from the broader wildlife rehabilitation community on the licence and fee structure for wildlife rehabilitators, as well as possible incentives for rehabilitators to join registered groups.
The new licence and associated fees came into effect with the Biodiversity Conservation Regulations on January 1, 2019, however, the fees have been waived for the first 12 months while DBCA undertakes further consultation on the fee structure.
Recently a malnourished and critically ill orphaned wombat was seized by wildlife officers from an inexperienced member of the public who was trying to rehabilitate the animal. This resulted in an animal cruelty charge, highlighting the need for robust wildlife rehabilitator licences.
The wombat received expert care at Perth Zoo involving weeks of intensive veterinary treatment and now has a clean bill of health, although her development has been delayed due to a difficult start to life.
Wildlife rehabilitation licences will help ensure high-quality animal welfare and better outcomes for sick and injured fauna taken into care.
The wider rehabilitation community is being asked for its views on the options for licence fees, the draft Code of Practice for Wildlife Rehabilitation in Western Australia, and draft licensing guidelines online.
Source: WA Government