This course provides an overview of animal pests, their impacts and control methods.


Animal Pest Control Methods is a four-day course that offers an overview of animal pests, their impacts and control methods that are commonly used in DOC to animal ethics standards. 

This course is for anyone who works or wants to work or volunteer in animal pest control, including:

  • regional council staff
  • volunteers
  • members of community groups, trusts and funding recipients.

The course:

  • describes best practice in the field when setting temporary and permanent transect lines for traps and bait stations and laying pesticides
  • includes approved handlers requirements for test certificate
  • reinforces the correct use of personal protective equipment.

The course is split between the classroom and in the field. It is assessment-based and a specified level of competence must be achieved to pass the course. Successful completion counts toward the National Certificate in Conservation (Level 4) and meets working knowledge requirements for approved handlers.

The course content includes:

  • introduction to pest control
  • introduction to DOC task specifications
  • introduction to labels, personal protective equipment, safety data sheets and safe handling sheets for pesticides
  • applying task specifications and selected control methods
    • establishing permanent transect lines
    • DOC 200 kill traps for stoats
    • establishing temporary transect lines
    • 1080 cereal baits in bait stations - possums
    • Feratox potassium cyanide strikers - possums
    • Cholecalciferol D3 in bait bags - rats 
    • overview of other traps and pesticides used in pest control
    • trap catch data
    • approved handlers for potassium cyanide and 1080
      • Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act and Regulations
      • hazard classifications and adverse effects 
      • how to comply with HSNO controls.

External students will need to contact a private test certifier to apply for their approved handler certification. There is a list of test certifiers on the Worksafe NZ website.


You need to have completed three online courses:

How to enrol

This DOC field skills course is delivered and administered by Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) in partnership with DOC. For course dates, costs and venues, and how to enrol visit the NMIT website.

Arrangements can be made to hold the course at venues throughout New Zealand for groups of 8 or more – for more information contact NMIT.

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