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Our WCB Feedback Procedure...

This blog post is about our ‘feedback procedure’ and the standards we ask our WCB Holders to keep too.


Our policy is that an anonymous feedback channel about our WCB Holders has always been available so that if anyone thinks that a WCB Holder is acting with lesser standards than they should be, they can raise their concerns with us, in a safe way.


We have an online form (see this page please: https://www.wildlifecarebadge.com/wcb-feedback) where reports about WCB Holders can be made.


Why do we offer this feedback channel? We do it for a number of reasons…


  • Wildlife welfare is paramount and a minimum level of medical and rehabilitative care should always be provided to wildlife casualties and, if a WCB Holder falls short of that, then it is in the interests of our UK wildlife that this is highlighted (anonymously and with no public attacking or naming and shaming).


  • We do it to also support our WCB Holders. All badge holders have proven knowledge and a suitable premises and they provide proof of ongoing high welfare standards BUT even the best Rehabbers can be overwhelmed sometimes so, if someone is struggling and it is noticed and reported to us, we can offer private support to help that Rehabber keep their standards high, without feeling like they’re working alone.


  • We do it to set an example of what a positive, supportive Wildlife Rescue community could be, if there was a more general trust of one another and equal standards and transparency within the Wildlife Rescue Industry. What I mean here is that we treat both the person who has offered feedback and the badge holder in question with respect and kindness at all times, even if some quite challenging conversations have to happen during the process.


  • Finally, we do it to create a safe community where slander and libel are not accepted or allowed and where WCB Holders are held to a high standard but also supported to maintain those standards AND, if any reports are proven to be false, they are vouched for by us, instead of feeling alone and under attack. It is very common at the moment (as I am sure most Rehabbers will have experienced) for Rehabbers to be criticised and publicly attacked by other Rehabbers, on social media. With no regulation previously in place, it was very hard for Rehabbers to prove reports to be false. What this created was a toxic industry where everyone was constantly afraid of being publicly slandered and where bullying was rife and no one trusted one another. With our feedback system, a report can be made and, if it turns out to be false (either because the report was slanderous or because it came about due to a misunderstanding) we can make the person who reported it aware that the matter has been investigated and the name of the WCB Holder has been cleared.


What are our ‘investigative procedures’ like, if a report has been made?

Well, the first thing is that we ask for the feedback form to be filled in. (If there are any technical issues, we ask for the report to be filed another way).

Then we ask for evidence so that we can be totally objective in our investigation. The evidence MUST be something that cannot be faked: phone records, screenshots of messages, copies of emails, photos, videos, reports from a Vet etc.

This evidence is then examined by 4 - 5 people on our WCB Committee (always a mix of small Rehabbers, larger Rescues and Vet Professionals) to see if it is felt that the report is genuine and backed up by enough evidence.


Why do we need evidence? We need evidence just like the RSPCA and the police need evidence of animal cruelty and wildlife crime. No one should ever find themselves accused by someone else (professionally or personally) and potentially punished over a false accusation. As a professional organisation, we require objective evidence to ensure that we are standing up for wildlife rights with the fullest possible info at hand and with a full grasp of the situation.


If the evidence shows that the report has merit, we ask for a private meeting with the WCB Holder in question (anonymous and in a supportive environment, as a Rehabber will only ever be doing their best, so we set up a meeting to see about finding out what happened and hopefully improving standards, instead of seeking to criticise).


We have had one case of a report being valid and it was simply a case of the Rehabber being overwhelmed by numbers as all other nearby Rescues had closed and they were faced with impossible demand. We were able to support that WCB Holder to improve standards and offer support, so that we were able to help them to help animals AND we were able to ease the concerns of the person who had been worried about the WCB Holder in question.


We have never yet had a case of wildlife care being lower than the standards that WCB Holders sign up to meet, where it was felt that we needed to remove a badge from a WCB Holder.


However, should we have genuine concerns after a report has been made and evidence of malpractice is placed in front of us and should we feel that the WCB Holder is not able or willing to improve their standards or learn from their mistakes, then we would take the WCB badge from that Rehabber. It would be done quietly and without any naming and shaming: we would just ask that the Rehabber in question remove any WCB accreditation from any social media and their website.


I hope that this blog post makes our feedback procedures clear. Should you have any questions, please do feel free to contact me at Alana@wildlifecarebadge.com and I will answer your questions. I am even happy to chat on the phone to answer any questions.


Thank you very much for reading.


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