As part of our accountability checking, we ask to see evidence that Rescues keep records. Now, this isn't so that we can judge them on what they're doing, it's so that we know they recognise that record keeping is an important part of wildlife rehabilitation!
But why is it so important?
As animal lovers, we know that dealing with wildlife casualties is never easy. However, it is important to keep detailed records for several reasons:
1. **Tracking trends:** By keeping records of wildlife casualties, you can identify patterns or trends that may help you prevent similar incidents in the future. For example, if you notice that a particular area has a high number of roadkill incidents, you may be able to take steps to reduce the risk to animals.
2.**Continuity of care.** In the event that the main carer for the animal falls ill or is unable to carry out day to day care, it would be easy for someone else to carry on the care to the same standard. Or, in Rescues where more than one person cares for an animal, it is easy to see what has or hasn't been done.
3. **Legal compliance:** There are certain regulations surrounding wildlife rehabiliation, including the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. As part of this, you may need to explain why you have an animal in your care. Keeping accurate records can help you show evidence that you comply with these regulations and avoid legal issues.
4. **Accountability:** In the event of an incident or dispute, having detailed records can help you demonstrate that you have taken appropriate steps to address the situation and care for the animals involved.
5. **Education and awareness:** Sharing data and information on animal casualties can help raise awareness of the importance of animal welfare and encourage others to take action to protect animals in their communities.
By doing so, you can help prevent future incidents, ensure continuity of care, and promote animal welfare.