Important COVID-19 information for Wildlife Shelters and Foster Carers

Authorised Wildlife Shelters and Foster Carers provide services that are connected with animal health, husbandry or welfare, and are therefore a permitted industry for the purposes of the Victorian Chief Health Officer’s Direction Stage 4 restrictions.

For permitted industries, the restrictions mean that onsite work and associated travel may proceed where work from home is not practicable. All administrative tasks and roles must be done from home.

For permitted industries, travel is allowed from an area under Stage 3 restrictions to an area under Stage 4 restrictions where necessary for essential work.

If you live in metropolitan Melbourne you will not be able to travel more than 5km from you home, unless it is for work, medical care or caregiving.

Under the new requirements, you will need to provide verification of your employment or engagement by a permitted industry by completing the permit template available on DHHS's website

Wildlife shelter operators and foster carers who are sole traders should complete the worker permit as both the employer and employee.

Do you need to find help for sick, injured or orphaned native wildlife?

The Help for Injured Wildlife tool will help you locate and contact the closest relevant wildlife carers and rescue and rehabilitation organisations to help the injured wildlife.

Expert care for certain wildlife

The rescue and rehabilitation of certain wildlife is restricted in Victoria as some wildlife require expert care and treatment.

  • Whale and Dolphin Emergency Hotline, 1300 136 017
  • Seals or marine turtles - AGL Marine Response Unit, 1300 245 678
  • Platypus - Healesville Sanctuary, (03) 5957 2829

Can I look after sick injured or orphaned wildlife?

Wildlife may only be cared for by authorised Wildlife Shelters or Foster Carers.

Wildlife require expert care, treatment and rehabilitation to recover sufficiently to be returned to the wild. Without this care, wildlife may not recover or may lose their natural behaviours.

It is illegal in Victoria to keep sick, injured or orphaned wildlife as a pet. Taking wildlife from the wild without authorisation is an offence which carries a fine of up to $7,773 and/or 6 months imprisonment.

What do I do if I find heat stressed wildlife?

Information on heat stress in wildlife can be found here.

Page last updated: 07/08/20