- Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action
- 5 Apr 2022
All native birds, mammals, reptiles and frogs are protected in Victoria under the Wildlife Act 1975.
It is illegal to wilfully disturb, hunt, take, trap or kill wildlife without a permit and may result in a fine and/or imprisonment.
Occupiers or administrators may apply for an Authority to Control Wildlife (ATCW) to wilfully disturb or destroy wildlife once all reasonable options have been considered. For example, installing fencing to exclude wildlife from the area where they are causing damage.
You need to have an ATCW before:
- shooting wildlife
- wilfully disturbing wildlife (for example relocating wildlife)
- removing nests with eggs and/or birds sitting on the nest
- trapping wildlife.
You do not need to apply for an ATCW:
- to shoot Eastern or Western Grey Kangaroos if you are using an authorised harvester as part of the Kangaroo Harvesting Program
- if you engage a DELWP licensed Wildlife Controller for reptiles that are posing a safety risk to humans
- to trap and release Common Brush-tailed Possums from buildings however you must abide by the conditions in the Governor in Council Orders G27 published on 10 July 1997 (page 1718)
- to shoot deer (except Hog Deer) that are causing damage to private property, however you must abide by the conditions in the Governor in Council Orders G9 (page 408) as published on 1 March 2018
- To shoot Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Long-billed Corellas or Galahs causing serious damage to trees, vineyards, orchards, commercial crops or recreational reserves however you must abide by the conditions in the Governor in Council Orders G26 published on 4 July 1996, page 1704 and amended on 25 March 1999 (G12, page 738). The GiC Order includes a condition which permits defined persons to take or destroy cockatoos using trapping and gassing equipment approved by DELWP. However, no such equipment is approved by DELWP. This option is thus effectively illegal.
When do I need an ATCW to disturb wildlife?
An ATCW is needed to wilfully scare, harass, disperse, trap or relocate wildlife. For example, a landholder using a scare gun to frighten native parrots from their orchard would require an ATCW, while a landholder using compliant netting to protect their crops would not.
Routine activities such as mowing, driving through paddocks to check on stock or other activities which may cause wildlife to be unintentionally disturbed do not require an authorisation under the Wildlife Act. However, removing a nest that is being used by birds (with or without eggs or chicks) or relocating wildlife require an authorisation.
The Kangaroo Harvesting Program
Under this program, landholders can use authorised harvesters to control Eastern and Western Grey Kangaroos on their property at no charge and do not need to apply for an ATCW. Unlike an ATCW, where landholders control and dispose of the kangaroos themselves, the harvesting program allows landholders to engage professional harvesters who will undertake the control and will remove the carcasses for commercial use.
To find out more about the KHP and how to contact an approved authorised harvester visit https://djpr.vic.gov.au/game-hunting/kangaroo-harvesting.
New ways to apply
You can now apply for an ATCW using an online application form. The online form can be completed on your mobile device. Using the online form -
- will ensure that all required information has been included before you submit your application
- provide instant acknowledgement that your application has been received
- will email you a copy of your application form for your records
- help us process your application more efficiently.
Please note that if using the online form, you cannot save a draft – please make sure you have all required information before you start.
You can still apply by downloading a copy of the ATCW application form from the Conservation Regulator website and emailing it or posting to the address specified on the form.
All applications will still go through the same rigorous assessment to ensure they meet the requirements of the Wildlife Act.
Additional obligations to consider before applying for an ATCW
There are other requirements you might need to consider before controlling wildlife:
- Anyone shooting wildlife must also comply with the Firearms Act 1996.
- Depending on the location, you may need to obtain a Public Place Permit from Victoria Police before shooting wildlife in accordance with an ATCW. Penalties apply for non-compliance. For more information about matters regarding firearms please visit Public place permits (police.vic.gov.au) or call 1300 651 645
- It is your responsibility to check -
- with your local councils’ bylaws to see if any of your proposed control methods require approval or have conditions of use.
- whether the proposed control methods or the disposal of any carcasses do not breach any restriction from the Environment Protection Act 2017 or regulations made under the Act such as Environment Protection Regulations 2021.