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( During 2022)
THE WILDLIFE CARE BADGE
[SELF POLICED ‘WILDLIFE CARE’ REGULATION FROM WITHIN THE WILDLIFE RESCUE/REHABILITATION COMMUNITY]
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...
The launch of the WCB - under the Wildscaping Worldwide umbrella - has been absolutely massive, in 2022. It launched at the Secret World Wildlife Conference in February (where I was asked to speak under the heading, 'Wildlife Rehabilitation: An Outsiders Overview.' You can check out the presentation HERE). The presentation was a big success and drew in a lot of support for the WCB.
The WCB 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 WCB is very much just starting off (with the launch of the 'Rehab, Release & Transit Badge Accreditation' ) and here are a list of its successes, during 2022...
- 21 RR&T Badge Holders.
- Almost another 30 Rehabbers have signed up - to go through the process - to get their own RR&T Badge.
- Our first set of WCB Webinars launched in 2022. In 2022 we held a Webinar/Brainstorming Session on how Vets/Rehabbers can better work together, to help wildlife AND we held a Policies Webinar on which policies should be in place to successfully run a Wildlife Rescue. 3 more webinars are scheduled for 2023: Wildlife In Law, Treating Wild Birds In Vet Practices & Wildlife Hub Tiers.
- The WCB has united Vets & Rehabbers in an unprecedented way: creating a growing united community of Wildlife Rehabbers & Vet Professionals who are now regularly meeting, speaking and collaborating to help our UK wildlife. (Previously, as a general rule, there has been division and a lack of understanding between Vet Professionals and Wildlife Rescues, with neither side fully being aware of & acknowledging the skill sets that each offered and how they could work together. Even though there were individual cases of Rehabbers and Vet Professionals working well together across the UK, as two separate, professional groups there was often disharmony and a lack of open communication. More and more - as we start to hold more formalised meetings between Vet Professionals & Wildlife Rehabbers, under the umbrella of the WCB community - we are bridging this gap and helping these incredible professionals to do what they do best: help animals).
- 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, questioning the rights of us humans to take a wildlife casualty into our power (however well intentioned) if we can not offer a sufficient level of care and treatment. 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.
- Presentations about the WCB and wildlife rights have been invited by one college and one Wildlife Rescue (as part of their training days) so far.
- We held one Compassion Fatigue session 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).
"VET WILDLIFE SUPPORT PACKAGE"
I feel so lucky to have been given the permission to share and make available these resources (created BY wildlife experienced Vets, FOR Vets Practices across the UK, that have been packaged, under the WCB, into the VWSP) to help Vets Practices to more quickly and easily treat wildlife casualties that get brought into them by members of the public, before they are transported on to local Wildlife Rescues for longer term rehabilitation.
By the end of 2022, 45 Vet Practices in the UK had requested (and been given) a copy of the Vet Wildlife Support Package, to help them to treat wildlife.
'WILDLIFE FIRST AID OFFICER' SERVICE
Wildlife casualties need help urgently when found and it's surprising how many people find a wildlife casualty on the way to work or even on the work place premises itself.
Wildscaping Worldwide launched this 'WFAO' service in 2022, helping work places across the UK to be prepared to help our UK wildlife, as and when needed... FIND OUT MORE HERE.
'WILDSCAPING OUR WORLD HANDBOOK'.
The HANDBOOK was finally published in August this year: based on my 22 years of experience working in human and animal welfare. The handbook especially draws from my last 5 years of experience in overall 'planetary welfare' through wildscaping & working to harmonise humans and wildlife, across the UK.
It clocks in at almost 400 pages (check out some snippets) and reveals offers the Reader (to benefit ourselves & all lives around us) a fundamental foundation, ideas & instructions on how to live wildly in every aspect of our lives.
(Local actions = Global impact).
You can read the REVIEWS that have already come in.
UK WILDLIFE TRANSPORTERS
Between January & June, 2022, UKWT coordinated and transported 104 wildlife casualties (both orphaned and injured wildlife) to medical care across the UK. We also advised on over another 200 cases, helping members of the public - who could drive the casualty themselves - to secure spaces at Vet Practices and Wildlife Rescues, to help save the lives of the wildlife casualties that they had found.
As our reputation had grown, so had the demand (especially from Vets Practices) so in June 2022 UKWT was upgraded to a new and improved model, to better serve our wildlife across the UK.
The new UKWT recruits, equips (with carriers & disinfectant) and funds fuel costs for a national network of wildlife-loving Volunteer Drivers who all give up their time (and use their own vehicles) to respond at short notice to help get injured/poorly UK wildlife to medical care (or sanctuary spaces) ASAP.
We fulfil 3 specific roles/gaps...
RECRUITING, EQUIPPING & FUNDING 100S OF VOLUNTEER DRIVERS: ALLOCATING THEM TO DRIVE FOR WILDLIFE RESCUES SO THAT EVERY WILDLIFE CASUALTY (EVEN IF IT’S FOUND BY SOMEONE WITHOUT ACCESS TO A VEHICLE) CAN BE BROUGHT IN FOR URGENT MEDICAL CARE THAT SAME DAY (NATIONWIDE)
Up to 3 out of every 10 wildlife casualties found in the UK can end up passing away purely because they couldn't be transported to Rescues/Vets/Rehabbers quickly enough/at all... UKWT was set up to fill this gap and covers the whole of the UK, making sure that Wildlife Rescues have enough Volunteer Drivers to send them out to pick up wildlife casualties from members of the public who have found poorly/injured wildlife but who can’t drive/don’t have access to a vehicle.
SUPPORTING VETS BY TRANSPORTING WILDLIFE CASUALTIES OUT OF THEIR PRACTICES AND ACROSS TO WILDLIFE RESCUES (NATIONWIDE)
It can be very difficult for busy Vets Practices to treat wildlife casualties (and not just euthanase on arrival) because the casualty will always need to be moved onto a Rescue Centre for longer term rehab afterwards. By providing Vets with their own list of local Volunteer Transport Drivers (recruited, equipped & funded by UKWT) we support Vets to treat wildlife and then move them out of the Practice site instead of thinking that their only logistical option is to ‘Put To Sleep.’
VET WILDLIFE SUPPORT PACKAGE (NATIONWIDE)
As we at UKWT already have a nationwide network of Vets (that we are continuing to grow) that we are setting up Drivers Lists for, it made sense to support the work of the WCB by including this package in our communications - offering it to Vets nationwide - so that Vet Practices can start to use the 'How To Guides' to save as many of the wild lives being dropped into them as possible. Read on...
When the Wildlife Care Badge (officially partnered with UKWT) was in development, it became known - through discussions - that a number of the wildlife specialist Vet Professionals who were contributing to the WCB had also created helpful 'How To Guides' to specifically support 'General Practice Vets' in Practices to treat wildlife casualties. These 'How To Guides' (pdfs and videos) have been united into the 'Vet Wildlife Support Package'.
As 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.
BY THE END OF 2022...
- We had given out 45 copies of the VWSP (to the 45 Vet Practices who had requested them) which will improve the treatment that 100s of wildlife casualties will receive, when they are dropped off at those practices.
- We have 40 Vet Practices who have requested Volunteer Drivers, to help them to help wildlife (that's 100s of wildlife casualties supported, per Vet Practice).
- We are serving 34 Wildlife Rescues (across the UK) with Volunteer Drivers (making sure that the 3% who get found by people who can;t drive, still make it to the Rescue).
WILD WONDER EXERCISE
I developed this practice quite by accident in 2014: I simply started choosing to clear my mind of all the labels of the creatures around me (from Trees to Birds) and started spending time with them - sharing a space with them - with no preconceived notions of what/who they were.
The result was a heart and mind opening and shattering of everything I had been told that I 'knew' and as I let more and more assumptions go, so I reached a point where I founded Wildscaping Worldwide (and, under this umbrella, the Wildlife Care Badge, UK Wildlife Transporters & now the Wildlife Not Pests Campaign).
During 2022 I started to become interested in inviting others to share this practice with me. I called it the Wild Wonder Exercise and invited the incredible Ed Pike to collaborate with me, to launch this new practice. You can find out about it HERE. We are still finding our feet (I had to find a way to teach what I have only - so far - been doing on my own) but our first few sessions have been exciting.
WILD LIVING & LOVING CLUB
After the launch of the Handbook in August 2022, I wanted to to create a community to help people to examine the undeniable and foundational 'wild truths' that had been featured in the book AND to help anyone - who wanted to - to live more wildly, lovingly & honestly, in wild, collaborative harmony with our planet as a whole and all other species.
Thus, in 2022 I launched the 'Wild Living & Loving Club'.
It's only just getting started but I am very excited about the club's future in 2023 and ongoing.
The ethos of the club... "In this Club you'll fall back in love (or even more in love) with the world around you, yourself and all other beings, in the online company of other members who are also falling back in love with our planet & living more wildly throughout their lives, as you are..."
WILDLIFE NOT PESTS CAMPAIGN
The website for the Wildlife Not Pests Campaign has been built during 2022 and the domain name purchased. 8 wildlife organisations (so far) have signed up to back & promote the campaign, with lots more set to be invited during January 2023. The WNPC has been set up to start changing our national perception and relationship with any creature that we have labelled as a 'pest/vermin'. In reality, pests/vermin do not exist. The words 'pest/vermin' are a nonsense label that we humans have created, for those creatures that we feel are unable to serve us. The WNPC will launch in January 2023...
WILD WINNINGS EXTRAVAGANZA
This is some of our most exciting news from 2022 as it will - I hope - be the monthly event that ties together the work of the 3 organisations that WW currently runs: Wildscaping Worldwide itself, UKWT and the WCB.
This extravaganza - this monthly Games Festival - runs some back to front raffles that empower our planet and our UK wildlife (while 10,000s of rafflers get to win prizes, free)!
Our monthly, differently themed Wild Winnings Games Festivals (if they continue to be a success) will not only support all of the values & goals that WW holds so dear (us humans living in alignment with our planet and all other species) but will also be a basis of £1000s of funding every month, to support the WCB and UKWT (no longer needing to rely on donations).