State Systems

statesHow is wildlife rehabilitation managed in other states?

Each state has a different approach to rehabilitating wildlife. Some states share similar features to other states: Some are admired, while others are broadly disliked. Here we will review and to discuss those different systems to find a better way for NSW.

Wildlife Rehabilitation in Victoria

victoriaTo understand the Victorian system, the parties involved need to be introduced and defined.


DSE – The Department of Sustainability and Environment
    • Equivalent to the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.
    • Responsible for licensing and compliance within the area of wildlife rehabilitation in Victoria.
    • Gives out substantial grants to rehabilitators.
Wildlife Victoria
    • A charity put together by volunteers to assist those working with injured and ill wildlife.
    • The largest and best known wildlife rehabilitation group in Victoria.
    • Has no responsibility for licensing or compliance.
    • Is not a shelter and not directly responsible for animal care.
Shelter Operators
    • Authorised / licensed individually by DSE.
    • A person who has demonstrated skills, knowledge, experience and facilities to take animals direct from the public for assessment and treatment.
    • Responsible for assessment of injury / illness and decisions about appropriate treatment (a bit like a senior coordinator in WIRES except they are approved directly by the DSE, not appointed by local commttees).
    • They take responsibility for difficult cases requiring intensive management and care.
    • Once a Shelter Operator has been licensed for 12 months they can apply to supervise up to 3 authorised Foster Carers under their licence.
    • They must keep all records, including those of Foster Carers under their supervision.
    • All animal registrations are in their name.
    • DSE can inspect the Shelter for compliance in the areas of record keeping, condition of facilities and treatment of wildlife in care.
    • There are approximately 350 Shelter Operators licensed in Victoria.
Foster Carers
    • Authorized individually by DSE to operate under the supervision of an authorised Shelter Operator.
    • Can care for non-life-threatening cases as directed by a Shelter Operator - provide basic care and housing – easy cases.
    • All decisions relating to the animal’s care are up to the Shelter Operator to which the Foster Carer is assigned.
    • The animal is always registered in the name of the shelter, not in the name of the Foster Carer. It is the Shelter Operator that has full say in everything to do with that animal.
    • Foster Carers do not report directly to DSE: They are responsible to the Shelter.
    • DSE can inspect the Foster Carer for compliance with standards and instructions. The result of inspections reflects on both the Foster Carer and the Shelter to which they are affiliated.
    • There are approximately 350 Foster Carers authorised in Victoria.


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