The Code of Practice for Injured, Sick and Orphaned Flying-foxes (the Code) is intended for everyone authorised by the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) to rehabilitate and release flying-foxes. To protect the welfare of animals and help conserve the wild flying-fox population, the Code contains both standards and guidelines for the care of flying-foxes. It is designed to be read in conjunction with the Code of Practice for Injured, Sick and Orphaned Protected Fauna.
Grey-headed flying-foxes Pteropus poliocephalus are listed as vulnerable under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Black flying-foxes, P. alecto, and little red flying-foxes, P. scapulatus, are not threatened, but are protected species under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (NPW Act).
The Code is neither a complete manual on animal husbandry nor a static document. It will be revised as necessary to account for new knowledge of animal physiology and behaviour, technological advances, developments in standards of animal welfare, and changing community attitudes on and expectations about the humane treatment of animals. OEH will consult with licence holders regarding potential changes to the Code and give written notice when the Code is superseded.
The code is complemented by Initial Treatment and Care Guidelines for Rescued Flying-foxes. The purpose of the guidelines is to standardise the management of flying-foxes requiring rescue or rehabilitation, in line with the code. It includes detailed information about the management of these animals following rescue, from capture to physical examination, initial stabilisation and treatment before presentation to a veterinarian.