Code of Ethics

The following is a Code of Ethics produced by the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association.

It provides some key guidelines for wildlife carers.

– A wildlife rehabilitator should strive to achieve high standards of animal care through knowledge and an understanding of the field. Continuing efforts must be made to keep informed of current rehabilitation information, methods and regulations.

– A wildlife rehabilitator should be responsible, conscientious and dedicated, and should continuously work toward improving the quality of care given to wild animals and birds undergoing rehabilitation.

– A wildlife rehabilitator should establish safe work habits and conditions, abiding by current health and safety practices at all times.

– A wildlife rehabilitator should acknowledge limitations and enlist the assistance of a veterinarian or other trained professional when appropriate.

– A wildlife rehabilitator should respect other rehabilitators and persons in related fields, sharing skills and knowledge in the spirit of cooperation for the welfare of all fauna.

– A wildlife rehabilitator should place optimum animal care above personal gain, with the primary goal to rehabilitate wildlife for release back into the wild within the natural range of that species.

– A wildlife rehabilitator should strive to provide professional and humane care in all phases of wildlife rehabilitation, respecting the wildness and maintaining the dignity of each animal in life and in death. Releasable animals and birds should be maintained in a wild condition and released as soon as appropriate. Non-releasable animals and birds that are inappropriate for remaining in captivity should be euthanased.

– A wildlife rehabilitator should encourage community support and involvement through volunteer training and public education. The common goal should be to promote a responsible concern for living beings and the welfare of the environment.’

– A wildlife rehabilitator should work on the basis of sound ecological principles, incorporating appropriate conservation ethics and an attitude of stewardship.

– A wildlife rehabilitator should conduct all business and activities in a professional manner, with honesty, integrity, compassion, and commitment, recognising that an individual’s conduct reflects on the entire field of wildlife rehabilitation.

Copyrighted material reprinted with permission of the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association.
Miller, E.A., editor. 2012. Minimum Standards for Wildlife Rehabilitation, 4th edition. National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association, St Cloud, MN. (page v).