Protecting Animals and Plants
In general, wildlife crime is any action which contravenes current legislation governing the protection of the UK’s wild animals and plants.
To contact the RSPCA call 0300 123 4999. If you witness a suspected wildlife crime in action call 999 immediately and ask for the police. The RSPCA also deal with wildlife crime and other animal welfare issues They can be contacted 24 hours a day and may be able to attend an ongoing wildlife crime if police aren’t available to do so.
Please visit the In Action page to keep up to date.
What to do if you find an injured wild animal
If you suspect you have found an injured wild animal, watch it first to assess what it's injury is. Either contact the RSPCA 0300 1234 999 or take it to a vet or wildlife rehabilitator. If possible try and contain the animal - see advice below.
Wild animals can scratch and bite when frightened, particularly if they are injured.
- Never lift a wild animal, unless you are sure that you can do so without risk to yourself or others.
- Wear gloves when handling all wild animals, especially oiled wildlife – pollutants like oil can be hazardous.
- Keep the animal away from your face.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after handling an animal.
- Take care in dangerous locations, such as a busy road. Watch from a distance first to see whether the animal is still alive, call for help if you can’t reach it safely.
- If you find a whale, dolphin or porpoise on a beach call us or the British Divers Marine Life Rescue BDMLR immediately. Keep a safe distance and don’t touch the animal.
- Never try to free an animal from a snare or trap – you risk hurting yourself and the animal and it could be an offence if the animal was legally caught. Stay back to avoid stressing the animal. Call the RSPCA with the location.
Capture and boxing
If it’s safe to catch and handle the animal, then, wearing suitable gloves, quickly place it into a secure cardboard box with ventilation holes, lined with towel or newspaper. Keep the animal quiet and take it to a vet, or wildlife rehabilitator.
"It's all about encouraging people to participate and learn about the natural world through hands on discovery."
Established in 1991 as a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre, WildAid has been making a difference for wildlife welfare throughout the UK ever since.
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