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Microchipping, pit tagging or tracking injured wildlife using collars for release back into the wild

If every aspect of the way that an animal is used (what, when, how, where, for how long and by whom) is for the purpose of monitoring the animal's health as a bona fide extension of the animal's veterinary treatment and general care after release, then animal ethics committee (AEC) approval is not required.

AEC approval is required if any aspect of the way that the animal is used is added, changed or extended in order to meet the objectives of a scientific purpose. Incidental use of data collected through use of an animal for another purpose (e.g. veterinary treatment or general management) does not require AEC approval providing that there was no change in or addition to the way that the animal was used (i.e. no use of the animal specific to meeting the scientific objectives).

Using microchips and collars on animals may have other implications under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 (ACPA) and other acts such as the Nature Conservation Act 1992. Under the ACPA, any person who uses microchips and collars on animals has the responsibility to ensure that:

  • activities are performed in an appropriate manner
  • the microchip and/or collar is appropriate for the animal
  • the process does not cause the animal unjustifiable, unnecessary or unreasonable pain.

Failure to meet your responsibilities may constitute offences under the duty of care or cruelty provisions of the ACPA.