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Rescue regulators

Home Forums Champions’ chat Rescue regulators

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    I was wondering who regulates rescues ? Is there a license that is issued to them.
    I’ve read something on twitter tonight about a Hedgehog rescue giving out bad advice . Can anyone open a rescue ?
    I thought it was an offence to keep a wild animal unless you had some sort of license .

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    Hi Gr8mums

    I’ve just checked this out with the BHPS and unfortunately, currently, there is no licensing and anyone can set up as a hedgehog rescue. Although it is apparently something being discussed by the RSPCA.

    However, information from BHPS:
    The rescues that are on the directory we keep are encouraged to go on a rehabilitation and first aid course for hedgehogs that we co-run with Vale Wildlife Hospital. We also insist they have an associated vet before they are added. If we receive complaints we investigate and when necessary remove them from the directory and/or report concerns to RSPCA who have powers to close rescues down.

    So if you know of a rescue giving out bad advice, etc. perhaps they should be reported to BHPS. You can contact them by going to BHPS – click on their logo above – and click on ‘contact us’.


    Hi Gr8mums,

    I asked a similar question of BHPS a couple of years ago – similar response to the one Nic got above.

    I hope they do more on this with RSPCA and experts going forward, as there is a risk I fear for all wild animals in this respect.

    It is illegal, however, to keep any wild animal captive (and breed them in captivity). so there is a grey area as to why someone takes a creature from the wild in the first place and what they do with them. Fortunately in most cases, it is that people are trying to do the right thing, but unfortunately, most wild animals have particular and specific needs, known only to those who are knowledgeable in this regard (they are not pets), but in trying to help or nurse them, the tendency is to treat them as we do pets and domesticated animals.

    Anyone suspecting that a wild animal is being kept captive when it shouldn’t be, or acting as a rescue, when they haven’t the skills, should report this.
    It works both for and against the hedgehog that as a species, they are so accessible to us – unlike birds, badgers and foxes etc, you can, with relatively little effort, get hold of one. people do often refer to hedgehogs in their area / garden as being considered to be their hedgehogs, when clearly they are not, even if we feed them and provide shelter – they are gracing us with their presence, and that is how I, for one, would wish it to remain.


    I agree with both Nic and Jan’s comments above. However, I also think that perhaps if you hear of bad advice being given then it may be wise to speak to the BHPS before reporting the centre to the RSPCA.
    The advice given can well be inaccurate because the wrong information was given to the centre in the first place. I cannot tell you how often I’m told one thing and find it’s something completely different
    Also advice given can be relevant to an area known by the rescue centre.
    Finally sometimes rescue centres have to give advice that people don’t always want to hear…..
    Sometimes hogs die despite looking like they will recover and their finders get upset.
    So basically yes report by all mean’s – we need regulated rescues, but take what you hear especially on social media with a huge dose of salts


    Thanks for the replies.

    The tweet I saw didn’t name the rescue , it was from a rescue who said some other one had given the advice to leave abandoned hoglets and see if the mum turned up. As they were lying out in the garden without any obvious nest and clearly unwell , the fact they were left for so long made their chances of survival worse.

    It doesn’t seem right that rescues aren’t licensed at all, as others have said they might be doing their best and genuinely want to help but without the knowledge or skill needed, their actions or advice can cause harm.

    Personally I only ever contact the Scottish SPCA , they have a wildlife centre and are experts in their field.


    “The finder of these 12 day old babies was given such bad advice by a rescue that the 3 she saw on the lawn on Sunday and was told to leave, were just 2 today. Cold, dehydrated, bittten, fly eggs and maggots in every orifice including their eyes, they are barely alive.“ There was also a picture of the hoglets.

    This was the tweet, and yes social media can be a lot of nonsense but I do think this is genuine.

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