WCB MISSION STATEMENT
THE CURRENT WILDLIFE REHABILITATION INDUSTRY IN ENGLAND, WALES & NORTHERN IRELAND...
As the Wildlife Rescue Industry is unregulated in Wales, England and Northern Ireland, whenever a member of the public takes a wildlife casualty to a Wildlife Rescue or Rehabber, they can't know in advance - unless it is one of the few very large centres - whether they are dropping that animal off at the welfare equivalent of a hospital or a horror shop. The Wildlife Care Badge wants to change all that.
Most Wildlife Rescues/Rehabbers are fantastic but (due to lack of regulation) unfortunately there are some Rescues/Rehabbers (who might be well intentioned but who lack knowledge and a suitable premises and who don’t work with a Vet) who collectively, accidentally inflict/cause immense suffering, unhindered, on 1000s of wildlife casualties every year.
That was why the WCB was established: we are hoping to be - and can be, if the WCB is a success - a preventative solution.
The Wildlife Care Badge is about placing ‘wildlife rights’ at the heart of wildlife rehabilitation efforts.
Our 'goal' (around which all of our work revolves) is, I think, a common goal that all of us share…
All wildlife casualties across the UK are helped/treated/served in such a way as to align with these basic rights...
- The right to only be taken (to lose their power and independence) into a Rescue/Vets Practice when it is strictly necessary in order to try and save them or because they will not survive without intervention or because they will have a terrible death when a kinder, easier death could be offered.
- The right to only be treated by someone (be that a Rescue or an independent Rehabber) who has suitable premises and a minimum level of knowledge to offer a high welfare environment and to give that wildlife casualty/orphan the greatest chance possible to survive/get better/grow into an adult (this necessitates a Rescue/Rehabber having either Vets on site or a good working relationship with a local Vet).
- The right to be treated as an individual creature and a unique case (just like we humans always expect to be treated by our hospitals and doctors) - seeing what treatment suits them as an individual, giving them every chance possible - with only their welfare in mind.
HOW DO WE HOPE TO FULFIL THIS GOAL?
The WCB is a ‘self regulation scheme’ that enables Rescues/Rehabbers to easily prove that they meet the minimum requirements that are necessary to ethically rehabilitate poorly/orphaned wildlife.
The WCB was launched in Feb. 2022 & was developed over a YEAR of Zoom meetings, by Wildlife Rescues & Rehabbers (from tiny one man/woman set ups to large centres) as well as Vets (both wildlife specific & general practice) & Vet Nurses.
It was developed BY Wildlife Professionals FOR Wildlife Professionals.
The minimum requirements are…. 1. A suitable premises (a high welfare environment in which to rehab/raise wildlife casualties/orphans). 2. A minimum level of knowledge on how to rehab/treat/raise wildlife casualties/orphans. 3. The final requirement is ongoing accountability. The accountability we require is: proof of proper records being kept (these ensure day to day, high welfare standards and the administering of the proper medical treatment of wildlife) as well as a good, regular ongoing relationship with a Vet.
[The 2 month accountability was debated a lot across hours of meetings - by Vets, Rescues & Rehabbers - as the WCB was developed - and only takes 5mins. It will be documents that you already have, that you just need to attach and send us copies of (blacking out any GDPR sensitive information).]
WHAT EXPERT WILDLIFE CARE STANDARDS HAVE THE BADGES BEEN BASED ON?
The WCB has been drafted - and is based on - already recognised standards from the RSPCA, BWRC, BVZS and the BSAVA that Wildlife Rehabbers (even lone Rehabbers, working out of their homes) should ALL be already meeting as a minimum standard of care.
THE WCB IS ABOUT STANDING TOGETHER, FOR WILDLIFE (IT IS NOT ABOUT JUDGING ONE ANOTHER)…
The WCB is not asking for proof of knowledge/standards because there are doubts that WCB applicants are professional, knowledgeable, working with a great Vet and well set up and clean and totally brilliant: the WCB is asking for proof because somewhere (lots of somewheres) there are lots of Rescues/Rehabbers that aren’t.
This is about taking everything personal out of wildlife rescue and shining the spotlight 100% on the rights and well being of wildlife casualties and that can ONLY happen with full transparency and accountability, across the board.
The hope is then that members of the public can be made aware of the WCB accreditation and start to look for the badge on a Wildlife Rescue/Rehabber's site/page in order to make sure that they only take wildlife casualties to high welfare spaces and to knowledgeable, experienced people. (Wildlife casualties can therefore, we hope, be prevented from being taken to well intentioned but ill informed and unsuitably established Rehabbers - often untrained and inexperienced, most of the time not really working with a Vet and often purchasing illegal drugs online - who can do a lot more harm than good to the wildlife casualties in their care).
[If you are a Wildlife Rescue/Rehabber reading this: I expect that you're probably amazing. What the WCB is asking for is that you set an example for everyone else - who perhaps isn’t as great, currently - that you have been happy to prove your level of care (for the sake of wildlife welfare, nationwide) so there’s no reason for others not to do the same.]