IT'S OUR 1ST YEAR ANNIVERSARY (SINCE OUR LAUNCH)!
WHERE ARE WE UP TO?
Since the WCB launched its first badge, the WCB has formed its own committee to oversee our operational standards: we now have a WCB standards committee of 14 Vet Professionals & Wildlife Rehabbers, all with different backgrounds and experience and all situated across the UK.
21 Wildlife Rescues/Rehabbers have already achieved their RR&T Badge (with a further 2 having just had their Vet Visits and a further few having passed the KA and currently organising their Vet Visits). 2 of the UK’s larger Wildlife Rescue Centres have just applied for the WCB (one publicly, one, so far, anonymously).
OVERSEEING OUR HIGH STANDARDS
Our new safeguarding measures - overseeing & maintaining high standards amongst WCB Holders - have successfully proven to support our community to offer the high welfare services that we expect, supporting our WCB Holders to maintain high standards even during busy periods of high demand and overwhelm.
The WCB has held 4 professional ‘Wildlife Educational’ Webinars/Q&As so far, uniting & benefitting Vet Professionals & Wildlife Rehabbers alike (with a fifth scheduled for March 2023 and even more already suggested & on the way to being organised). Between 27 - 50 Vet Professionals & Wildlife Rehabbers have attended each webinar.
VET WILDLIFE SUPPORT PACKAGE
The VWSP.... Under the banner of the WCB, the ‘Vet Wildlife Support Package’ has launched and has been requested by 50 Vet Practices in the UK so far.... This package is a collection of 'How To Guides' - that have been united and made much more accessible under the WCB banner - that have all been developed by wildlife trained Vets, for general practice Vets to use, in practice. These 'How To Guides' will hopefully aid in the treatment of 1000s of wildlife casualties. Why is this important? Because... As approximately only 1% of Vets leave school with any wildlife training (and each wild species requires specialist care) making the VWSP accessible/available nationwide will make a huge difference to many wild lives: it could ensure that 1000s of wildlife casualties (who are dropped into Vets Practices, by members of the public) are successfully treated instead of being euthanased due to lack of knowledge. (We have already had great feedback and messages of thanks on how helpful these How To Guides have been, from Vet Practices.
VET PROFESSIONALS & WILDLIFE REHABBERS COLLABORATING TOGETHER
The WCB has also just launched 2 new online community groups, HERE & HERE - under its umbrella - set up to aid Vet Professionals and Wildlife Rehabbers (in even greater numbers) to help and support one another to best save and serve our UK wildlife.
WILDLIFE RIGHTS TO PROPER CARE
The WCB was launched to stand up for the rights of wildlife to proper care. The WCB - just by being developed & launched by Rehabbers/Vets working together - has sparked an open conversation. It’s been challenging at times but we are increasingly receiving positive feedback as to why Wildlife Rehabbers are understanding what we hope to achieve. We are also supporting Rehabbers to establish themselves well enough to be able to offer this high welfare level of care: the right premises, a minimum amount of knowledge and a great working relationship with a Vet.
COMPASSION FATIGUE SESSIONS
We have organised (during development and since the launch) 4 Compassion Fatigue sessions for Vet Professionals & Wildlife Rehabbers: offering emotional support to help these professionals to help wildlife. (Time was also spent during 2022 to find a way to establish regular funding to run these sessions monthly, ongoing, from 2023).
WE HAVE GREAT RESPECT FOR VET PROFESSIONALS
Our greatest success by far has been how many Vet Professionals, across the UK, have been finding out about the WCB and getting in touch to support us or who have sent us positive, supportive messages after our webinars. It has been a very welcome surprise to us how many Vet Professionals have communicated with us, keen to educate themselves on wildlife rehabilitative treatments (and adapt their own Vet Practices to better serve wildlife) and who want to build better relationships with their local Wildlife Rescues.
OUR UK WCB NETWORK
Even though we are just starting out, we are finding (as our WCB network grows and as we invite open regular communication) how different Vet Professionals & Rehabbers are finding out about each other and networking, through us, to support & learn from one another: one example recently being a Wildlife Rehabber at a highly respected UK Wildlife Rescue finding out - through the WCB network - about a Vet (on the other side of the country) who had a specialism in a particular species and asking to be connected with them so that their expertise could start to be utilised within their Wildlife Rescue (one of the larger Rescues in the UK).
A 'WCB STARTING OUT' STRUCTURE
We have already helped one new very small Wildlife Rescue to get started properly, with a high welfare structure and support in place before they ever took an animal in, independently. What did this look like? Well…. We helped them work with a very experienced Wildlife Rehabilitation Mentor, who gave them advice - that they followed - to volunteer at a large centre before starting to take wildlife in themselves. Then the small Rescue revised & sat and passed the KA in advance, to test their level of knowledge. They also secured a good working relationship with a Vet in advance of opening. They got experienced advice on how to set up their premises and had their premises approved by a much more experienced Wildlife Rehabber (a Rehabber who had proven standards themselves). Finally, when the new Rehabber had more experience and started to take in wildlife themselves, they started small and always collaborated with much more experienced Rehabbers on each case, always learning and always being supported to best serve the wildlife that they took in.
WCB / HUMANE WILDLIFE SOLUTIONS COLLABORATION
We have started a collaboration with Humane Wildlife Solutions, offering Predator Proofing Advice. This is really exciting as we know that a lot of Wildlife Rescues (and even Vet Practices) struggle to predator proof their enclosures. Kevin, from HWS, has created ‘easy to read and follow’ templates (he has published the ‘rodent proofing template’ so far) at very affordable prices, even very generously donating 30% of each sale to help fund our WCB running costs.