Snake Removal Training

Alice Springs Reptile Centre has been offering Venomous Snake Capture and Removal training courses since its inception in 2000. The course is offered in two components. A four hour, ‘Reptile Awareness’ component is conducted first. This covers basic reptile biology, identification, habits, habitats, adaptations, venoms, anti-venoms, effect of venoms on the body, first aid, how to avoid being bitten and common sense precautions around the home, workplace and when in the bush. This course is designed for everyone as it provides a useful background to reptiles in Australia. This course is regularly booked by government departments and corporations who send people to remote areas of the NT as part of their work commitments. There is no limit to the number of people who can attend this course component.

The second component of the course is specifically designed for corporations who require people to be trained to catch and remove snakes from remote worksites. Many mine sites in the NT are located on Aboriginal Land. Most stipulate as part of the lease agreement that native fauna including venomous snakes are not to be harmed. We therefore provide a Catch and Release course in order to safely train employees in this task. For mining companies it is wise to consider how many people require training to cover day and night shifts, shift rotation and operating areas.

This component can run from three to five hours depending on the numbers to be trained. We cap Catch and Removal training to a maximum of 12 people trained as six pairs per day. This ensures that each person receives adequate practical catching time and that the snakes are not over used.

This course section covers OH&S, statutory requirements, catching equipment, kit, search techniques, correct catching procedures and culminates in an extensive practical session catching live highly venomous snakes. For this reason ALL participants undertaking the Catching component of the course MUST wear long pants and solid, fully enclosed work boots.

Upon successful completion of the course a Statement of Attainment is issued. Course participant’s names can then be forwarded to the NT Parks and Wildlife Service so that their names can be added to your Corporations Interfere Permit.

All of our trainers hold Senior First Aid certificates, Cert IV Workplace Training and Assessment (TAE40110) qualifications and are themselves recognised, licensed snake catchers with many years of experience. Alice Springs Reptile Centre holds $20 Million Public Liability Insurance cover. Our course is recognised within the Northern Territory by the NT Parks and Wildlife Service whom has the authority to issue Interfere Permits. This permit must be obtained by anyone before they are able to legally catch and remove a snake (or any other native animal).

We train corporations mainly based in the Northern Territory. Many of these are very remote and our course is tailor made to suit. We are the ONLY company in Australia to train catchers in pairs using complete hands-off catching techniques.

Our course was developed with the aid of a Risk Matrix template. It meets stringent OH&S requirements especially when catching in very remote areas far from expert medical help. We have a 100% safety rating over 12 years of training.

In the instance of snake-bite the immediate application of effective first aid is critical for survival. As most of the Corporations we train are located in very remote areas far from medical help we train people to catch in pairs. Firstly, this meets stringent mine site OH&S requirements, secondly, catching is far more efficient and effective and thirdly and most important if a catcher does accidently get bitten the second person can immediately apply first aid and raise the alarm.

No other company in Australia trains this way. If you work as a snake catcher in a city or town you have ready access to a well equipped hospital. This is why most companies train people to catch by themselves. Alice Springs Reptile Centre is the ONLY company to recognise the unique situation that our clients are faced with being in extremely remote areas many hours from medical assistance (and anti-venom). By being trained to catch as a pair we provide the SAFEST Catch and Removal training for remote area work places in Australia.

Alice Springs Reptile Centre also understands that time is a critical factor especially for our many Mining clients. Our course is designed specifically for remote mine sites to be delivered within a single working day minimising downtime. We offer all you need to know coupled with loads of practical catching time all in a well constructed one day course.

Corporations we have trained include the NT Parks and Wildlife Service, Parks Australia North (Uluru and Kakadu), Mining Companies, Resorts and various Federal and NT Government departments.

Please note, we DO NOT train individuals, we only train corporations. Northern Territory legislation in regards to snake catching is very different to all other States. We are the only NT based company who teaches snake capture and removal (recognised by NT Parks and Wildlife Service) and the only company who fully understands the unique NT licensing requirements.

We recommend people who attend the Capture and Removal Course be re-trained every 18 to 24 months in order to keep their skill base at a high level.

Alice Springs Reptile Centre can supply all your catching equipment needs. We only use and recommend M1 Tongs which are sturdy, long-lasting with a coated flat-ended grip. These are imported from the US and we modify them to suit our Australian snakes. The tongs are safe for both the snake (unlike the old-fashioned full metal tongs which should only be used for picking up rubbish).

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