[IF YOU HAVE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS, PLEASE EMAIL ALANA AT ALANA@WILDSCAPINGWORLDWIDE.COM]
THE TEAM BEHIND THE WCB
The WCB development was Project Managed by Alana, who has her own other organisations, Wildscaping Worldwide (www.WildscapingWorldwide.com) and UK Wildlife Transporters (www.UKWildlifeTransporters.org).
There was a CORE DEVELOPMENT TEAM of important Wildlife Rehabbers & Vet Professionals who attended all/most meetings & who developed the majority of the WCB.
Every single Rescue & Rehabber (and Vet Professional) was publicly invited to help develop the WCB and a lot of different Wildlife Professionals attended the development meetings.
If you would really like to understand why we launched WCB and why so many very busy Wildlife Professionals have committed so much time to making it happen, please watch the video below. (This was a presentation that Alana was asked to give at the SWWR conference, in 2022).
WHY IS THE WCB NEEDED?
The WCB is needed because of a lack of regulation/legislation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. With the very best of intentions, injured/orphaned wildlife are often being rehabilitated by members of the public with very little training or knowledge on wildlife care and yet they have (as they are working to be as professional as possible, to their credit) presented themselves as a 'Wildlife Rescue'. It is very important that a stand is made for 'Animal Rights' (within Animal Welfare/Rehabilitation) and that not only are Wildlife Rescues given minimum standards of knowledge and facilities to meet but also that they are supported and empowered to be the best that they can be.
WHO ARE THE 'SELF-REGULATORS' BEHIND THE WCB?
Whilst we (the WCB developers) have created a structure in which to ask Rescues/Rehabbers to prove a level of knowledge and to ensure their premises are set up appropriately, the badges are effectively regulated by the current legislation.
The standards/practices that all Badge Holders are expected to be aware of (and operate under) are based on the knowledge that all Rehabbers should have (all of the educational resources and recommended regulations that have already been created by experts). Some examples are...
BSAVA Manual of Wildlife Casualties (2nd Edition) / Defra Notifiable disease disinfectants list / Good Practice Guidelines for Wildlife Rehabilitation Centres / British Veterinary Zoological Society 2016 (open access) / Garden Wildlife Health Disease Fact Sheets / Introduction to Wildlife Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release Mullineaux E (Ed.) (2022) Secret World Wildlife Rescue / Practical Wildlife Care, Second Edition Les Stocker / Safe4 data (dilutions and contact times) / The Wildlife Trust (click on the links to read the legislation) UK Wildlife Law | The Wildlife Trusts / Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 (legislation.gov.uk)
The Knowledge Assessment is written by a Wildlife Vet and questions are based only on fact and research and not opinions so there is either a right or wrong answer. The record keeping is effectively 'do you have this information (?)' so the answer to that is either yes or no. There will be a team of volunteers who go through the information but it's not marked on someone's interpretations, it's a very set 'yes or no' type thing.
HOW HAS IT BEEN DEVELOPED?
The WCB has been developed (with Alana Project Managing it & all of the ideas and content submitted by Wildlife Professionals) through a uniting of Wildlife Experienced Vets, Small 'Home Premises' Rehabbers, larger Wildlife Rescue Centres, General Practice Vets and other Wildlife Professionals. For over a year there were approximately 50hrs of Zoom meetings on every topic and revision after revision of the WCB as it was created together, from those within the wildlife industry.
WHO SETS THE KNOWLEDGE ASSESSMENT PAPERS?
The Knowledge Assessment Papers have been devised by Wildlife Specialist Vets.
They are MCQ (Multiple Choice Questions) so that they can be marked by WCB Staff/Volunteers.
WHY DID WE SETTLE ON THIS FINAL VERSION OF THE WCB?
After much discussion, debate and back and forth of ideas and the exact language to use, we (those who have put in the most hours to develop the WCB) have published this first official version of the WCB. It's as perfect a starting point as we can hope for. As the WCB launched in February 2022, we have also adapted and added features (we have added much stricter safeguards) throughout 2022/2023 so that our WCB is now improved even further as we celebrate our recent 1st anniversary.
DOES THE 'ONGOING ACCOUNTABILITY' FROM A WCB HOLDER REALLY MAINTAIN STANDARDS ?
Yes we believe it does and so far have been proven correct. Asking for admission records, case studies and proof of a regular working relationship with a Vet has enabled us to be able to make sure - throughout the year - that high enough levels of focus and care for each casualty has been taking place under each WCB Holder and the requirement of proof of a working relationship with a Vet has especially proven that diagnostic equipment and high levels of treatment, as well as the right medications (as deemed appropriate by a Vet) have been being administered.
HOW CAN I APPLY FOR THE WCB?
The steps to apply for the 'RR&T Badge' are as follows...
STEP 1. Wildlife Rescues/Rehabbers apply for the badge by contacting Alana at alana@wildscapingworldwide,com or using the CONTACT PAGE on this website. [RESCUES/REHABBERS WHO ARE CONCERNED THAT THEY WON’T MEET MINIMUM STANDARDS CAN APPLY ANONYMOUSLY AND EVEN SIT THE EXAM ANONYMOUSLY. THEY CAN THEN ANNOUNCE THEIR SUCCESS IF THEY GET THE BADGE AND NO ONE NEEDS TO KNOW IF THEY NEED SOME EXTRA HELP - THEY WILL JUST BE OFFERED TIME WITH A MENTOR TO GET UP TO STANDARD]
STEP 2. Wildlife Rescues/Rehabbers undertake species specific knowledge assessments.
STEP 3. The knowledge assessment papers are marked.
STEP 4. Once assessments are marked/meet the standard… Rescues/Rehabbers arrange a vet visit from their local vets, with hubs requiring multiple vet visits/an overview of resident pictures. (WCB providing the vet in question with notes on what they should look for, should they want it).
STEP 5. Once the vet report has come in and the ‘I adhere to the policy form’ has been signed, the Rescue/Rehabber gets the Badge/s.
DOES IT COST ANYTHING, TO HAVE THE WCB?
Yes & No. WCB doesn't charge anything but you will be asked to fund the Vet Visit(s) (which average at £75 per visit) yourself.
IS THERE A PRESENTATION BY ANOTHER RESCUE, TALKING ABOUT WHY THEY THINK THE WCB IS WORTH DOING?
Yes... You can watch Lucy Steele's presentation HERE.
WHO IS DOING THE 'PREMISES CHECKS', A VET THAT'S ARMED WITH RESOURCES?
Your Vet (we can help you to arrange it) will be doing the checks.
Every Vet who visits a WCB Applicant’s premises is given 2 documents in advance (see the pics below). They are given a long report to fill in and go through, created by the brilliant Wildlife Specialist Vet, Liz Mullineaux AND they’re given a document of important questions to ask (created by a team of wildlife trained & rehab experienced Vet Professionals).
Any Vet visiting a premises can also ask for support and advice, in advance and/or afterwards, from all of the wildlife experienced Vet Professionals who are on the WCB Committee.
We are also in the process of developing a Bat specific WCB badge and for that, a Bat specialist Vet is putting together some specific advice for a General Practice Vet to have in mind when visiting a Bat Rehabber’s premises with some important specialist questions to ask too, to ensure that the premises is set up correctly.