Looking to the future: improving wildlife rehabilitation and care


The NSW Government is launching statewide consultation on the wildlife rehabilitation sector to gain a detailed understanding of how NSW can improve the way we care for our native animals.

The consultation will examine the challenges facing the sector, identify best practices and recommend next steps.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Trish Doyle will lead the consultation and provide a report on the outcomes to Minister for the Environment Penny Sharpe within 12 months.

In NSW, 40 wildlife rehabilitation groups involving more than 8600 people rescue an average of 110,000 animals a year.

The sector is mostly made up of dedicated and passionate volunteers who respond to more than 180,000 calls for help from the community each year.

This work is supported by specialised wildlife hospitals and many local veterinary services.

The value of the sector’s work is estimated at $27 million a year.

The consultation will consider a range of areas:

  • challenges for the sector
  • resourcing
  • connections within the sector
  • service gaps and duplication
  • involvement in emergency response and significant wildlife events
  • administrative and legislative provisions
  • support for wildlife hospitals and veterinary practices.

Our state is home to animals which live nowhere else on this planet and the NSW Government is committed to ensuring sick and injured native wildlife receive the best care and rehabilitation. The government recently invested $8 million into wildlife hospitals and care facilities across NSW and another $500,000 to support wildlife rehabilitators in Sydney’s South West.

This consultation will inform next steps for the NSW Volunteer Wildlife Rehabilitation Sector Strategy 2020-23. That strategy will be extended until 30 June 2025 while this review is underway.

Minister for Climate Change and the Environment Penny Sharpe said:

“Wildlife rescuers and rehabilitators are essential to the care and survival of native animals across NSW.

“We need to build on the achievements of the previous strategy and ensure the sector is supported for the future.

“I look forward to receiving this review, which will help inform and guide this important work.”

Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Trish Doyle said:

“The NSW Government values the contribution of wildlife rehabilitators, who provide valuable work for the community by rescuing and caring for sick, injured and orphaned native animals across the state every day.

“I look forward to listening to their experiences to understand the challenges and opportunities facing the sector.

“We need an integrated, future focused strategy to support the wonderful people who care for our native animals, while ensuring wildlife rehabilitation services are well connected and sustainable.”

/Public Release. View in full here.