National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of



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National Code of Practice for

the Humane Shooting of
Kangaroos and Wallabies for
Non-commercial Purposes

Endorsed by the Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council

2008

The Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council (NRMMC) consists of the Australian, state, territory and New Zealand government ministers responsible for primary industries, natural resources, environment and water policy.


Addresses of relevant government authorities may be found on the final page.
Commonwealth of Australia and each of its states and territories 2008
Information in this publication may be copied or reproduced for study, research, information or educational purposes, subject to the inclusion of an acknowledgment of the source.
Published under the title Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos:

First Edition published 1985

Second Edition published 1990, Reprinted 1995 and 1998

Published under the title National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies for Non-commercial Purposes: First Edition published 2008


The Code is based on the knowledge and technology available at the time of publication and may need to be varied in the light of new knowledge. Suggestions on how the Code can be improved are welcome and should be forwarded to:

Director of Wildlife Trade Assessments

Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts

GPO Box 787

CANBERRA

ACT 2601
or by email to wildlifetrade@environment.gov.au

First Edition. Effective from 7th November 2008


This edition of the Code will be reviewed within five years of its adoption.

CONTENTS

PREFACE ii

1. INTRODUCTION 3

1.1 Purpose of the Code 3

1.2 Definitions 3

1.3 Legislation 3

1.4 Structure of the Code 3

2. TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS AND PROCEDURES 4

2.1 Centrefire and Rimfire Rifles 4

2.2 Shotguns 4

2.3 Ammunition 4

2.4 Shooting procedures 5

2.5 Conditions 5

3. SHOOTING FOR NON-COMMERCIAL PURPOSES 7

3.1 Competency 7

3.2 Condition 7

4. EUTHANASING INJURED OR SICK KANGAROOS AND WALLABIES 7

4.1 Conditions 7

5. EUTHANASING POUCH YOUNG AND YOUNG AT FOOT 8

5.1 Conditions 8

6. SHOOTING FOR SCIENTIFIC PURPOSES 9

6.1 Conditions 9

7. SHOOTING FOR SPECIAL PURPOSES 9

7.1 Shooting in situations that present a safety risk to humans 9

7.2 Conditions 10
SCHEDULE 1: Minimum specifications for firearms and ammunition 11

SCHEDULE 2: Point of aim for a shot to the brain (all kangaroos and wallabies) 13

SCHEDULE 3: Point of aim for a shot to the heart (applicable only as described for injured kangaroos and specified shotguns) 13

Government authorities – contact details 14


PREFACE

The National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies for Non-commercial Purposes sets an achievable standard of humane conduct and is the minimum required of persons shooting kangaroos and wallabies for reasons other than commercial utilisation of kangaroo products (skins and meat). The Code is implemented through education and relevant government authority legislation as appropriate.


The Code replaces the (National) Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos was developed by Australian, state and territory government authorities and endorsed by the former Council of Nature Conservation Ministers (CONCOM) in 1985. The 1985 edition was revised and the second edition was endorsed by CONCOM and published in 1990.

Since 1990, there has been a considerable amount of scientific research conducted into kangaroo behaviour and ecology and considerable changes in the kangaroo industry. A review of the 1990 Code allowed the determination of the minimum achievable standard of humane conduct under present circumstances.


In 2002, the Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council (NRMMC) established a working group to review the Code. The NRMMC consists of the Australian, state, territory and New Zealand government ministers responsible for primary industries, natural resources, environment and water policy.
The Working Group included representatives from Australian, state and territory government authorities responsible for kangaroo management and welfare, the kangaroo industry, RSPCA and Animals Australia. The Working Group sought public comment on the revision of the Code and these comments were taken into account in the development of two separate codes, a commercial and a non-commercial code.
This first edition of the non-commercial code was endorsed by NRMMC on the 7th of November 2008 and should be read in conjunction with the National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies for Commercial Purposes.



1. INTRODUCTION
1.1 Purpose of the Code

This Code has been produced to ensure that all persons intending to shoot free-living kangaroos or wallabies for non-commercial purposes undertake the shooting so that the animal is killed in a way that minimises pain and suffering.


1.2 Definitions

In this Code, the terms ‘kangaroo’ and ‘wallaby’ mean all species of the family Macropodidae within the superfamily Macropodoidea which includes kangaroos, wallaroos (or euros), wallabies and pademelons.

For the purposes of this Code, a non-commercial purpose is where the animal shot is not used as product to be sold within Australia or overseas.





1.3 Legislation

All shooting of kangaroos and wallabies, whether on public or private land, is subject to law. As the laws may differ between states and territories, shooters must contact the relevant government authority in the state or territory in which the shooting will occur for appropriate advice. Except where specifically exempted by law, states and territories will require the shooter to have a licence or permit issued by a relevant government authority. The licence or permit will specify any conditions or restrictions that may apply.

The requirements of this Code do not override state or territory animal welfare legislation. A lack of knowledge of relevant state or territory animal welfare legislation is no defence against prosecution for animal welfare offences.
1.4 Structure of the Code

The Code is divided into seven sections covering:



  • Introduction

  • Technical specifications and procedures

  • Shooting for non-commercial purposes

  • Euthanasing injured or sick kangaroos and wallabies

  • Euthanasing pouch young and young at foot

  • Shooting for scientific purposes, and

  • Shooting for special purposes.

The Code also has three Schedules. These are:



Schedule 1: Minimum specifications for firearms and ammunition

Schedule 2: Points of aim for a shot to the brain, and

Schedule 3: Points of aim for a shot to the heart.

In each section an introduction provides background to the conditions that must be adhered to by all persons shooting kangaroos and wallabies.

2. TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS AND PROCEDURES

The range of firearms and ammunition available to licensed shooters in Australia is extensive, but only a small selection of firearm types are considered suitable for shooting kangaroos and wallabies under most circumstances (Schedule 1).

Across Australia, there are large differences in the terrain and prevailing weather conditions that might exist at the time of shooting. Commonsense is required to assess the prevailing conditions. Where the conditions are such as to raise doubts about achieving a sudden and humane death, shooting must not be attempted.
2.1 Centrefire and rimfire rifles

Centrefire rifles are specified for the shooting of all of the larger kangaroo species, with the exception of special circumstances where it might not be safe or practical to do so. Rimfire rifles are lower powered and do not have as long a range as centrefire rifles. In open areas, smaller kangaroo and wallaby species can be shot with either centrefire rifles or suitable rimfire rifle.



2.2 Shotguns

In all states and territories, the use of shotguns for the commercial shooting of kangaroos and wallabies is prohibited.

In certain non-commercial circumstances where it is not safe or appropriate to use centrefire or rimfire rifles, shotguns may be used. Such circumstances may include:


  • shooting of small wallaby species for non-commercial purposes at close range in or adjacent to forest or scrub in South Australia and Tasmania only

  • euthanasing injured or sick kangaroos and wallabies (Section 4)

  • euthanasing pouch young or young at foot at close range (Section 5), or

  • shooting kangaroos and wallabies that present a health or safety risk to humans, in accordance with the relevant government authority (Section 7).

The distance between the shooter and the target animal should be within the maximum range specified in Schedule 1 and the shot pattern should be centred on the brain or heart of the target animal. The shooter must be able to place a clear shot into one of these target areas whether the animal is moving or stationary. If this is not possible, the attempt must be abandoned.

2.3 Ammunition


There is a large variety of ammunition that can be used in the firearms listed in Schedule 1. By varying the powder load or the projectile weight and type, the impact delivered to the target kangaroo or wallaby can be altered. For the purpose of the Code, the ammunition specifications provided in Schedule 1 reflect those for factory-loaded ammunition in 2008. As new brands and lines of ammunition become available, the ballistic properties of those products must be examined by the shooter to ensure that they are at least equal to those of the

ammunition specified in Schedule 1. Sub-sonic ammunition must not be used.
2.4 Shooting procedures

More than one kangaroo or wallaby in a mob may be shot before the carcases are retrieved by the shooter, provided that the shooter is certain that each kangaroo or wallaby is dead before another is targeted. Where an individual kangaroo or wallaby is injured, no further animals can be shot until all reasonable efforts have been made to locate and kill the injured animal (see Section 4). Shooters should avoid shooting female kangaroos and wallabies where it is obvious that they have pouch young or dependent young at foot except in special circumstances (i.e. the female kangaroo or wallaby is sick or injured or needs to be killed for management and/or ecological reasons). If a female kangaroo is shot then any dependent young at foot must be shot as soon as possible to avoid dispersal in accordance with the methods in Section 5. Shot female kangaroos and wallabies must be thoroughly examined for pouch young immediately after shooting and, if present, the young must be killed in accordance with the methods in Section 6.


2.5 Conditions

The minimum specifications for firearms and ammunition are set out in Schedule 1. The following conditions for the shooting of kangaroos and wallabies must be met. Where the conditions set out below can not be met, or where there is any doubt about achieving a sudden and humane death, shooting must not be attempted.



Goal

(i) When shooting a kangaroo or wallaby, the primary objective must be to achieve instantaneous loss of consciousness and rapid death without regaining consciousness. For the purposes of the Code, this is regarded as a sudden and humane death.


Firearms and Ammunition

(i) Kangaroos and wallabies must only be shot with a combination of firearms and ammunition that complies with or exceeds those minimum specifications in Schedule 1.

(ii) The combination of firearm and ammunition selected for the environmental conditions in which the shooter operates must ensure that sudden and humane death is consistently achieved.


  1. A rifle must be fitted with a telescopic sight and be sighted in against an inanimate target before commencing each day or night’s shooting. The telescopic sight should be re-adjusted on an inanimate target as often as required during each shooting session.

  2. Self-loading or semi-automatic rifles must not be used at any time.

  3. Sub-sonic ammunition must not be used.



Shooting platform


(i) Kangaroos and wallabies must not be shot from a moving vehicle or other moving platform.


Target animal

(i) The target kangaroo or wallaby must be standing (injured animals excepted) and clearly visible.

(ii) When a rifle is used, the target kangaroo or wallaby must be stationary (injured animals excepted) and within a range specified in Schedule 1 that permits accurate placement of the shot.

(iii) When a shotgun is used, the target kangaroo or wallaby must be within the range specified in Schedule 1 and in a position where a clear shot can be fired at the brain or heart.

(iv) Shooters should avoid shooting female kangaroos or wallabies where it is obvious that they have pouch young or dependent young at foot except in special circumstances (i.e. the female kangaroo or wallaby is sick or injured or needs to be killed for management and/or ecological reasons).

Point of aim


(i) A shooter using a rifle must aim so as to hit the target kangaroo or wallaby in the brain (see Schedule 2).

  1. A shooter using a shotgun must aim so that, whether the target kangaroo or wallaby is stationary or mobile, it will be hit in the head or chest by the centre of the shot pattern.

  2. A shooter must not aim so as to hit the target kangaroo or wallaby in any other part of the body than those specified in (i) and (ii) above.



Follow-up


(i) The shooter must be certain that each kangaroo or wallaby is dead before another is targeted.

(ii) If a kangaroo or wallaby is still alive after being shot, every reasonable effort must be made immediately to locate and kill it before any attempt is made to shoot another animal. The injured kangaroo or wallaby must be euthanased in accordance with the methods outlined in Section 4.

(iii) If a female kangaroo or wallaby is shot then any dependent young at foot must be shot as soon as possible to avoid dispersal, in accordance with the methods in Section 5.

(iv) Once a female kangaroo or wallaby has been killed then its pouch must be thoroughly examined and any pouch young must be euthanased in accordance with the methods in Section 5.



3. SHOOTING FOR NON-COMMERCIAL PURPOSES

There are a range of situations in which kangaroos or wallabies may be shot non-commercially. These circumstances differ between the states and territories and include damage mitigation (all states and territories), recreational hunting (only Tasmania) and for the provision of meat for pest animal control programs. In most non-commercial situations kangaroos and wallabies must be shot in accordance with the conditions described in Section 2.5. The only exceptions are the shooting of animals for scientific purposes (Section 6) and in situations where it is necessary to shoot the animals and it might be unsafe to use firearms listed in Schedule 1 Part A (Section 7).


3.1 Competency

There is no competency testing regime for non-commercial kangaroo and wallaby shooters nor is there an intention to introduce a regime. However, relevant government authorities are encouraged to promote measures to ensure competence of non-commercial shooters.



3.2 Condition

The following condition applies

(i) Non-commercial shooters must be competent and ensure they conduct all shooting in accordance with this Code.

4. EUTHANASING INJURED OR SICK KANGAROOS AND WALLABIES

Injured or sick kangaroos and wallabies should be euthanased quickly and humanely to alleviate suffering, in accordance with the conditions described in Section 4.1.



4.1 Conditions

The minimum specifications for firearms and ammunition are set out in Part C of Schedule1. The following conditions apply:

(i) Injured or sick animals must be killed by a method that will achieve a rapid and humane death, preferably by a shot to the brain (see Schedule 2).

(ii) Under circumstances where a shot to the brain of an injured animal is impractical or unsafe, a shot to the heart is permissible (see Schedule 3).

(iii) In circumstances where, for dispatch of an injured kangaroo or wallaby, a shot to either the brain or heart is impractical or unsafe (such as when the animal is moving but not able to stand), a heavy blow to the base of the skull with sufficient force to destroy the brain (see Schedule 2) is permissible. To ensure a humane kill, a suitably hard and heavy blunt instrument must be used.

(iv) If the kangaroo or wallaby that is shot is female then any dependent young at foot must be shot as soon as possible to avoid dispersal in accordance with the methods outlined in Section 5.

(v) Once a female kangaroo or wallaby has been killed then its pouch must be thoroughly examined and any pouch young must be euthanased in accordance with the methods outlined in Section 5.

  1. EUTHANASING POUCH YOUNG AND YOUNG AT FOOT

All target female kangaroos and wallabies, including injured and sick animals, must be thoroughly examined for pouch young. If a pouch young or young at foot is present, euthanasia must be carried out and in accordance with the methods outlined below. These measures are to prevent the inhumane death of young that cannot survive on their own.


5.1 Conditions

The following conditions apply.

(i) Where euthanasia is carried out using a blow to the head, the blow must be delivered with force sufficient to crush the skull and destroy the brain. The blow should be delivered with a suitably hard and heavy blunt instrument. The operator must confirm that there has been lethal damage to the brain and that the animal is dead.

(ii) Immediately after euthanasia, the shooter is required to examine each animal to confirm death. The shooter must check that there is no body movement, breathing, or sign of heart beat to indicate the animal is alive. The shooter must also check that there is no corneal reflex (where this is observable).






Description of Young

Acceptable Euthanasia Method


Small furless pouch young (fits within the palm of the hand)

Single forceful blow to the base of the skull sufficient to destroy the functional capacity of the brain.

OR

Stunning, immediately followed by decapitation by rapidly severing the head from the body with a sharp blade.



All furred pouch young

Single forceful blow to the base of the skull sufficient to destroy the functional capacity of the brain.


Young at foot

Single shot to the brain or heart where it can be delivered accurately and in safety using the firearms and ammunition specified in Part C of Schedule 1.



6. SHOOTING FOR SCIENTIFIC PURPOSES

All states and territories in Australia have legislation providing for the issuing of permits to shoot kangaroos and wallabies for scientific purposes. Due to the circumstances and locations in which such shooting may take place, and because of specific research requirements (e.g. to obtain anatomical items such as intact skulls for diagnostic examination and museum reference collections), it may be necessary for the relevant government authority to allow exemptions from the general conditions such as point of aim and shooting platform.


Such variations must never detract from the primary responsibility of the shooter to ensure a sudden and humane death for the target animals.
6.1 Conditions

The following conditions are limited to the shooting of kangaroos and wallabies for scientific purposes.

(i) The provisions of this Code apply to the shooting of kangaroos and wallabies for scientific purposes except where exemption is provided by the licence or permit under which the animals are shot.
(ii) The government authority should only issue a licence or permit if it is satisfied that:

(a) the proposal is conducted in accordance with the Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes and any relevant government legislation

(b) the Animal Ethics Committee (or equivalent) at the relevant research institution and/or Government authority has examined and approved the proposal, and

(c) the method of shooting will result in a sudden and humane death for the animals authorised to be killed.


(iii) The waiving of any requirements of this Code shall not relieve the shooter of the absolute requirement to provide a sudden and humane death for the target kangaroos and wallabies.

7. SHOOTING FOR SPECIAL PURPOSES

7.1. Shooting of animals in non-commercial circumstances where it might be unsafe to use firearms listed in Schedule 1 Part A


In some cases, there may be a reason for shooting kangaroos where it is necessary to use combinations of firearms and ammunition other than those described in Part A of Schedule 1 of this Code. When a relevant government authority determines that it is not safe to use the firearms specified in Part A of Schedule 1 it may authorise licensed and competent shooters to the use of firearms specified in Part B of Schedule 1, so long as the goal of sudden and humane death can still be achieved in accordance with the conditions set out in this Code.
7.2 Conditions

The following conditions are limited to the shooting of animals where it might be unsafe to use firearms listed in Schedule 1 Part A and where approval from the relevant government authority has been provided.

(i) The provisions of this Code apply to the shooting of kangaroos and wallabies except in certain circumstances where the use of firearms specified in Part A of Schedule 1 might pose a safety risk to humans. In such circumstances the requirements of Part C of Schedule 1 apply.

(ii) Approval of the relevant government authority is required for each circumstance and location.

(iii) The waiving of any requirements of this Code shall not relieve the shooter of the absolute requirement to provide a sudden and humane death for the target kangaroos and wallabies.

SCHEDULE 1: Minimum specifications for firearms and ammunition





PART A - Kangaroos and wallabies shot for NON-COMMERCIAL PURPOSES

  


 

Rifles (Bolt-action repeating or single-shot)

 

 

 

Species

Calibre of Firearm

Cartridge Size

Projectile (Soft or Hollow Point only)

Maximum Range

Kangaroos and large wallabies:
Red kangaroo (Macropus rufus), Eastern grey kangaroo (M. giganteus), Western grey kangaroo (M. fuliginosus), Euro or wallaroo (M. robustus), Agile wallaby (M. agilis) and Whiptail wallaby (M. parryi)

 


0.224" or 5.69mm

.222R, .223, .22/250 or larger

50 grain or heavier

200m

0.204" or 5.18mm

.204 Ruger

40 grain

200m

 

 

 

 

 

Small wallabies:

Bennetts wallaby (M. rufogriseus), Tasmanian Pademelon (Thylogale billardierii) and other small wallabies



0.172 or 4.37mm

.17R

20 or 25 grain

100m

 

 0.224" or 5.69mm

.22H

45 grain

80m

 

 0.224" or 5.69mm

.222R, .223, .22/250 or larger

50 grain or heavier

200m

 

 0.224" or 5.69mm

.22 magnum

30 grain or heavier, hollow point only

80m

 

0.224” or 5.69 mm

.22LR

32 grain or heavier, hollow point only. Sub-sonic ammunition must not be used.

50m


PART B - Use of shotguns for wallabies shot for NON-COMMERCIAL purposes restricted to South Australia and Tasmania under specified circumstances.    

 

Shotguns

 

 

 

 

 

Bore Size

Gauge

Shot Load

Shot Size

Maximum Range

Bennett’s wallaby (M. rufogriseus), Tasmanian Pademelon (Thylogale billardierii) and other small wallabies

0.729", 0.670" and 0.615" bore

12, 16 and 20 Gauge

32 grain (1 1/8 oz.) or heavier, with a full choke

No. 2 or larger for Bennett’s wallaby

30m

 

as above

as above

as above

No. 4 or larger for Tasmanian Pademelon and other small wallabies

30m






PART CEuthanasia of sick or injured kangaroos and wallabies, young at foot that are dependent on the mother and the mother has been killed, and shooting in specific non-commercial circumstances where it might be unsafe to use firearms listed in Part A (subsections 7.1 and 7.2)  

As per specifications set out in Part A plus for:













Rifles (Bolt-action repeating or single-shot)

 

 

 




Calibre of Firearm

Cartridge Size

Projectile (Solid or Hollow Point only)

Maximum Range

Kangaroos and large wallabies

0.172” or 4.37mm

.17HMR

17 or 20 grain

80m




0.224” or 5.69mm

.22M

30 grain or heavier, hollow point only

80m




0.172” or 4.37mm

.17 R

20 or 25 grain



200m






 0.224” or 5.69mm

.22H

45 grain

80m




0.224” or 5.69 mm


22LR

32 grain or heavier. Sub-sonic ammunition must not be used.

Less than 30m




Shotguns

 

 

 

 




Bore Size

Gauge

Shot Load

Shot Size

Maximum Range

Kangaroo and large wallabies

0.729", 0.670" and 0.615" bore

12, 16 and 20 Gauge

32 grain (1 1/8 oz.) or heavier, with a full choke

No. 1, 2 or BB

Less than 20m

Bennett’s wallaby

(as above)

(as above)

(as above)

No. 2 or larger

20m

Tasmanian Pademelon and other small wallabies

(as above)

(as above)

(as above)

No. 4 or larger

20m

Glossary

.17HMR = .17 projectile developed for the .22 Magnum cartridge necked down (Rim-fire) 

.22H = .22 Hornet (Centre-fire)

.22M - .22 Magnum (Rim-fire) References: Cartridges of the World. 10th edition.

.22LR = .22 Long Rifle (Rim-fire) Frank, C. Barnes. Edited by Stan Skinner 2003.

.17R = .17 Remington (Centre-fire) Winchester Ammunition Product Guide 2003

.222R = .222 Remington (Centre-fire) http://www.remington.com/products/ammunition/ballistics/


SCHEDULE 2:

Point of aim (X) for a shot to the brain and location of the brain (all kangaroos and wallabies)





SCHEDULE 3:

Point of aim (+) for a shot to the heart (applicable only as described for sick or injured kangaroos and wallabies, and wallabies shot with shotguns). Note that a shot to the heart should not be attempted from the rear of a kangaroo or wallaby as it will most likely strike the spine first and may deflect before hitting the heart, paralysing the animal but not killing it outright.










Government Authorities – Addresses
Australian Capital Territory


Director

Parks, Conservation and Lands
ACT Government

PO Box 158

CANBERRA ACT 2601

Phone (02) 6207 1229

Fax (02) 6207 2502

e-mail: canberraconnect@act.gov.au


Commonwealth

Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts

GPO Box 787

CANBERRA ACT 2601

Phone (02) 6274 1111

Fax (02) 6274 1123

e-mail: wildlifetrade@environment.gov.au
New South Wales

Director-General


Department of Environment and Climate Change
PO Box A290
SYDNEY SOUTH NSW 2220

Phone (02) 9995 5000

Fax (02) 9995 5999

e-mail: info@environment.nsw.gov.au


Northern Territory

Executive Director


Parks and Wildlife Service Northern Territory
PO Box 496
PALMERSTON NT 0831

Phone (08) 8999 4582

Fax (08) 8999 4590
Queensland

Director General

Environmental Protection Agency
PO Box 15155
City East QLD 4002

Phone (07) 3227 8827

Fax (07) 3227 6485

e-mail:csc@epa.qld.gov.au


South Australia

Chief Executive

Department for Environment and Heritage

GPO Box 1047

ADELAIDE SA 5001

Phone (08) 8204 9322

Fax (08) 8204 9321
Tasmania

Wildlife Management Branch

Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment

GPO Box 44

HOBART TAS 7001

Phone (03) 6233 6556

Fax (03) 6233 3477

e-mail: Wildlife.Enquiries@dpiwe.tas.gov.au


Victoria

Secretary

Department of Sustainability and Environment

PO Box 500

EAST MELBOURNE VIC 3002

Phone 136 186

Fax(03) 9367 8100

e-mail: customerservice@dse.vic.gov.au


Western Australia

Nature Protection Branch

Department of Environment and Conservation

Locked Bag 104


BENTLEY DELIVERY CENTRE WA 6983

Phone (08) 9334 0292

Fax (08) 9334 0295

e-mail: wildlife@dec.wa.gov.au





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