Farming of native fauna


Ratification Date: 24 Jul 2014

Position Statement

The farming of certain species of native fauna is supported provided that:

  • it is based on a sound understanding of the animal, its behaviour, its habitat and its food supply
  • it is carried out in a manner that promotes the welfare of the individual animal and the species.
  • It is regulated by permit underpinned by a code of practice that safeguards the welfare of animals under management.

The OH&S aspects to farmers, veterinarians and associated workers must be considered, including the welfare / public health implications when farming some species.

Farming enterprises of native species must adopt risk management practices that prevent the spread of disease to the wild populations and where possible use environmentally sustainable feeding practices.


Australia has a large and varied native fauna. Commercial farming of native species such as emus, crocodiles and invertebrates occurs in some states but is illegal in others.

Farming enterprises can impose stress on wild animals. However, they may also assist the conservation of native species and minimise poaching and smuggling of wild native fauna.

Commercial farming of native species may involve the capture of free-living animals which are then bred in captivity.


The following guidelines should be observed for the farming of native fauna:

  • Species selected for farming must have behavioral characteristics that allow them to adapt to the farming enterprise.
  • When animals are captured from the wild, capture and transport methods must minimise stress, pain and injury and the husbandry methods during the initial period in captivity and the enclosure into which wild-caught animals are first released must be specifically designed to allow the animals to adapt to captivity with minimal risk of stress and injury.
  • A concerted effort should be made to overcome deficient areas of knowledge regarding the behaviour, management, healthcare and nutrition of the species, as well as the effect of the farming operation on the animal.
  • Operators should be trained in the management and welfare needs of the farmed species.
  • Farm managers should work with veterinarians to maximise the health and welfare of their animals.
  • Veterinarians servicing native animal farms should acquaint themselves with the husbandry and health needs of the relevant species. They should acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to provide a professional service to such enterprises.

Other recommendations

The design and operation of farming enterprises should be regulated by an appropriate government body to ensure appropriate habitat, feeding, transportation, killing practices and humane management of animals.

Date of ratification by AVA Board 24 July 2014