Emu control: strychnine landholder information

Page last updated: Monday, 9 March 2015 - 1:49pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

This article contains the booklet 'landholder information for the safe use and management of strychnine for emu control' and provides a general summary of a landholder’s obligations under the code of practice for the safe use and management of strychnine in Western Australia.

All strychnine users are urged to become familiar with the complete code of practice, which is linked to this page.

Warning: strychnine is an extremely dangerous toxin so great care is required with its use.


Strychnine is a highly poisonous substance that can only be used for control of pest emus and wild dogs. A number of Acts, Regulations and legislation restrict the use of strychnine in Western Australia (WA).

Baiting with strychnine is approved for the control of emus. This use is restricted only to suitably trained and authorised officers of the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA).

Misuse of strychnine can endanger you, and your family, your pets, the public, farm animals and wildlife, and may restrict the long-term availability of this essential vertebrate pesticide.

How to arrange for emu control using strychnine

The Landholder information for the safe use and management of strychnine for emu control booklet contains the information you require on how to arrange for emu control using strychnine. Follow the 11 steps in the booklet to conduct a strychnine baiting program.

Handling strychnine-bait

Be aware that it can be quite difficult to clean up after using strychnine. For this reason do not use the back of vehicles etc. when preparing strychnine products. Instead, set up a stable workplace on the ground using a large plastic bag to create a clean work place. Also be aware that strychnine dust particles are potentially very dangerous, so appropriate masks must be used.

When handling strychnine, you must wear chemically impervious gloves, particulate masks, and appropriate protective clothing. It is strongly recommended that all these items are disposable to enable thorough clean up. If possible, also use double gloves with a lighter inner glove to help prevent contamination during clean up. Once clean up is complete, and all disposable items have been bagged, and buried or incinerated (see above), then wash your hands and any other potentially exposed areas with soapy water.

If poisoning occurs immediately call 000 to request an ambulance!

Further details on first aid can be found in the Landholder information for the safe use and management of strychnine for emu control booklet.

Important final words

If strychnine is used in accordance with the instructions, it is an efficient, safe, and effective way of controlling emus.

If used incorrectly or carelessly, it can have disastrous effects. Such misuse may result in the curtailment of the future use of strychnine.

Do not take your responsibility lightly. You must take every available care to ensure that the strychnine is used safely and does not end up in the wrong place or in the wrong hands.

The continued availability of strychnine as a control method for emus is vitally important for the agricultural industry of this State, and its ongoing availability is dependent upon all users using strychnine responsibly.

Further information:

Contact information

Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
+61 (0)8 9368 3080