Use of projectile syringe equipment


Ratification Date: 08 Jul 2011


Systems for the remote injection of drugs in livestock, wild animals or companion animals can be used safely and humanely, provided that the people involved in the procedure have required licensing, skills, competencies and knowledge. Licensing is a necessary legal requirement. Non-veterinarians who need to use projectile syringe equipment must be under the direct supervision of a veterinarian.


Significant developments have been made in the design and use of systems for the remote injection of immobilising drugs, vaccines and other medications.

Veterinarians and non-veterinarians must have specialised skills and knowledge before any attempt is made to use such equipment on an animal. New South Wales has an accreditation course to ensure that people are appropriately trained. Other states are encouraged to adopt a similar program.

It is recognised that non-veterinarians may be required to use or deploy remote injection devices when veterinarians may lack fire-arms skills or when a veterinarian may not be readily available in an emergency situation. Human safety issues must also be considered in the use of projectile syringes, particularly when immobilising drugs are being used, including the retrieval of projectile syringes.

Permits must be obtained where appropriate from the relevant authorities before using projectile firearms. All precautions should be taken to minimise risks to human safety or to the animal’s welfare when using remote injection devices.

The selection of appropriate immobilising drugs and drug dosages requires careful consideration of a range of variables, including species, the individual animal (age, gender, mental state, health status), and the effect required. The Australian Veterinary Association’s special interest group Australian Veterinary Conservation Biologists (AVCB) can provide advice and assistance on the selection and use of projectile syringe equipment, and on drugs appropriate for the chemical restraint of a range of species.

Date of ratification by AVA Board 8 July 2011