During Phase 1 of AAWS, a set of unique challenges faced the Native, Introduced and Feral Animals Working Group.
The emotive and high-profile issue of reducing feral animal populations can be thorny and require complex solutions, or even the development of new technologies, that complement animal welfare ideals.
The working group—made up of government departments, universities, animal advocates, pest control and sustainable use groups, animal holding and care groups—have tackled such logistical problems head on, identifying all practical issues and the intended methodology to overcome them.
An example of this includes a goal to reduce feral camel numbers, standing at over one million, to a herd of 350,000 by developing standards for mustering, long-haul truck transport, commercial slaughter and aerial shooting.
While diverse in opinion and their involvement with wild animals, the group operates with the mutual understanding that whether animals are killed, conserved or relocated, they must be treated as humanely as possible.
This group helped harmonise welfare legislation between the jurisdictions and developed the feral animal control Codes of Practice and Standard Operating Procedures. It also developed a protocol to rank the humaneness of killing techniques and commissioned a study into the factors leading to success or failure of translocation programs for native animals.