WCB PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Day to day managing & building of WCB. Day to day tasks involve...
- Gathering the necessary information (from species specific experts from large centres, high welfare, vet approved sanctuaries and universities) & launching the LTC Badge.
- Promotion of the WCB.
- Holding Q&As for interested Rescues & Rehabbers about the WCB (and specifically about the RR&T and LTC Badges) to answer any questions.
- Answering requests for the pdf copies of the RR&T and LTC Badges.
- Overseeing the database of RR&T and LTC Badge applicants and taking them through the necessary steps, to get the Badge(s).
- Organising and overseeing the online Knowledge Assessments.
- Coordinating with Badge applicants to support their vet visits and also the vet checks of the Hub fosterer premises.
- Awarding the Badge Holders their digital badges and placing them on our WCB website and sharing how great they are!
- Overseeing the ongoing, 2 monthly accountability from all Badge Holders.
- Organising & holding online 'Compassion Fatigue' and 'Mindfulness' sessions.
- Project Managing the 'Rescue/Rehabber Support & Animal Welfare Committee' (overseeing a team of Wildlife Professionals who ensure that Badge Holders maintain their welfare standards).
- Organising & overseeing (once our first wave of Badge Holders have settled in) a monthly meeting of Badge Holders (who want to) to specifically discuss the choices around different cases. (ie. Which treatments can be suggested for different injuries/illnesses?) (People can be anonymously involved if they wish to be so: a safe space).
These staff/volunteers help with the day to day running of WCB. They will help to promote WCB, organise press releases, answer requests for the pdf copies of the RR&T and LTC Badges & oversee the ongoing, 2 monthly accountability from all Badge Holders.
'RESCUE/REHABBER SUPPORT & ANIMAL WELFARE COMMITTEE'
(REGULATING BADGE HOLDERS)
A supportive AND welfare focused committee of anonymous, independent Wildlife Professionals: any concerns about a Badge Holder's rehabilitation practices are placed before and discussed in monthly meetings by those Wildlife Professionals. The committee is made up of a multitude of 14 wildlife professionals. On the committee are Wildlife Vets, Wildlife Vet Nurses, a number of smaller 'Home Based' Rehabbers, a couple of Large Rescue Founder/Rehabbers & a number of independent Rehabbers (working in larger Rescue Centres) as well.
[IF THERE ARE CLEAR BREACHES OF A BADGE HOLDER'S BEHAVIOUR THAT STRONGLY SUGGEST PRACTICES THAT WOULD AMOUNT TO ANIMAL CRUELTY, THESE WILL BE IMMEDIATELY PASSED ONTO THE RSPCA]
WHAT ARE THE STANDARDS/PRACTICES THAT THE COMMITTEE USES TO REGULATE BADGE HOLDERS?
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) not only through ideally being trained by more experienced Rehabbers as they get started (or volunteering for a significant period before they get started) but also through the following educational resources and the relevant legislation that everyone should know...
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)
[WHAT DOES THE 'RESCUE/REHABBER SUPPORT & ANIMAL WELFARE COMMITTEE' DO?]
The WCB is about - first and foremost - supporting Badge Holders to have/achieve & maintain high welfare standards and to rehabilitate wildlife casualties from a minimum pre-agreed standard level of knowledge and experience. It is also about helping Badge Holders to keep getting better and better (therefore providing better care to wildlife casualties) while feeling looked after and supported, within the community.
On a practical level, this might look like...
If a Badge Holder offers advice to a member of the public that is incorrect (on a clear, factual basis, with no room for a different interpretation) and could do unnecessary harm to the wildlife casualty in the Finder's care, first they just get approached and asked to have a quick online chat about it and they're provided with alternative advice to give. (All of this will be anonymous, there's no need to 'name and shame' when everyone is just trying to do their best). If they continue to give out the same bad advice (for example) they will receive one official written warning (with accompanying educative info on alternative advice to give, to help them improve their practices) and then if it’s still going on (after second and then third warnings) they will lose the Badge.
Other examples of incorrect rehabilitation practices could be (all of these would be addressed in the same manner, through anonymous support - no naming and shaming - and kindly given, additional training would be supplied to the Rescue/Rehabber in question)...
- Mixing wild animals with domestic animals (eg. A cat climbing into a hedgehog enclosure and eating its food) or keeping a fox cub amongst pet dogs.
- The need to treat animals as diurnal / nocturnal. Eg. Releasing hedgehogs in the middle of the day.
- Unprofessional, rude and sometimes bullying interactions with other Rescues (eg. publicly belittling etc).
- Accidental negligence... Eg. A poorly hog arrived on the 10th April. Not getting poo samples done till 17th. Hog dies 25th. This huge delay in responding to the treatment of an animal caused its death. Preventable.
- Hoarding & overcrowding.
- Inappropriate caging.
- Mishandling... Eg. Picking up a bird by its wings and not supporting the body. Picking up a rodent by its tail.
- Not using PPE when they should. Eg. Ringworm. (this is for their own personal protection).
- Barrier nursing, rearing done incorrectly. Bottles with squirrels, not toileting, mollycoddling, imprinting.
- Inappropriate methods of euthanasia.
- Inappropriate ways of disposal.... Dumping bodies for example.
- People performing surgical procedures without the knowledge, expertise, right equipment etc. Eg. Someone sewing up a ruptured crop with a needle and thread from their sewing box without any medication / anaesthesia.
WHAT IF COMMITTEE MEMBERS THEMSELVES ARE DISCOVERED TO HAVE SOME INCORRECT PRACTICES?
All Badge Holders (even those on the committee) come under the same scrutiny. If a Badge Holder (on the committee) is known to be doing something incorrect, they will be spoken to by other members of the committee and given the same anonymous support and educated on better practices.
The WCB is a chance to manifest absolute transparency within the wildlife rescue industry and to create a highly supportive, respectful and positive environment (no personal criticism or bullying) in which we can all start to help our wildlife more and more, with better and better standards of care (and all feeling a lot more looked after ourselves too, and a lot less alone).
WHY IS THE COMMITTEE ANONYMOUS? WHY CAN'T EVERYONE KNOW THE COMITTEE MEMBERS?
Committee Members are kept anonymous to prevent any personal attacks against its members, should a Badge Holder lose their Badge.
The reason why we have created such a large committee (14 Wildlife Professionals from different backgrounds) is to ensure that the committee has a full range of different experiences (and even different opinions on some kinds of treatment) so that the rehabilitation practices of all Badge Holders are never unduly judged as malpractice and always examined fairly with no one able to project their own opinion (if it is not grounded in proven fact) onto another Rescue/Rehabber.