What should I do if I find a sick bat?
If you come across an injured, sick or an orphaned bat, do not touch the bat. Only appropriately trained and vaccinated people should handle bats.
- the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (formerly the Department of Parks and Wildlife)
- your local veterinarian
- a Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions registered local volunteer wildlife carer or
- your local Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Field Veterinary Officer.
Report any unusual signs of disease or deaths in bats or wildlife to a local private veterinarian, DPIRD Field Veterinary Officer or a Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions officer.
Private veterinarians can receive a subsidy to investigate some significant wildlife disease events including situations where large numbers of animals are affected or have died or when any wildlife are showing signs of neurological disease. To find out more, ask your DPIRD Field Veterinary Officer or visit the Significant Disease Investigations webpage.
Diseases that may look like Australian bat lyssavirus
Diseases that may look like Australian bat lyssavirus include:
- classical rabies virus – reportable animal disease
- trauma (broken wings, head trauma and concussion)
- lead poisoning
- other neurological diseases.
If you see unusual disease signs in livestock or wildlife, call your private veterinarian, your local DPIRD Field Veterinary Officer or the Emergency Animal Disease hotline on 1800 675 888.