The Code of Practice for Injured, Sick and Orphaned Koalas (the Code) is intended for everyone authorised to rescue, rehabilitate and release koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus). It has been developed to protect the welfare of koalas in care and the conservation of wild koala populations. The Code contains both standards and guidelines for the care of koalas and is designed to be read in conjunction with the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) Code of Practice for Injured, Sick and Orphaned Protected Fauna (General Code).
Koalas are listed as Vulnerable under Schedule 1 of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act). The koala populations in the Pittwater Local Government Area, Coastal area east of the Pacific Highway and between the Tweed and Brunswick Rivers, and in the Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens area are also listed as Endangered under Schedule 1 of the BC Act.
The combined populations of Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT are listed as Vulnerable under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
The NSW Koala Strategy commits to supporting native animal rehabilitation groups and establishing common minimum standards of care. The actions in the Strategy are complemented in New South Wales by actions in the Saving Our Species iconic species project for koalas. Records of koalas in care will inform an understanding of population trends, viability, and the effectiveness of threat mitigation actions.
The Code is neither a complete manual on animal husbandry, nor a static document, and must be implemented by a person trained in accordance with the enclosed standards. It will be periodically reviewed to incorporate new knowledge of animal physiology and behaviour, technological advances, developments in standards of animal welfare and changing community attitudes and expectations about the humane treatment of koalas. OEH will consult with licence holders regarding potential changes to the Code and give written notice when the Code is superseded.