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News & Press: NWRA News

Revisions to A Wildlife Rehabilitator's Code of Ethics

Monday, April 30, 2018  
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The National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association has updated the Wildlife Rehabilitator’s Code of Ethics.  The fundamental principles have not changed.  Periodic updates to a code of ethics is essential as ideas and language evolve. 

The updates are as follows:

Paragraph 1, second sentence—Individuals must make an effort to be informed of current rehabilitation information, methods, and regulations through participation in continuing education.  This revision puts an emphasis on the responsibility of individuals to seek education as the primary means of being informed of new practices.

Paragraph 8, first sentence—A wildlife rehabilitator should strive to provide professional and humane care in all phases of wildlife rehabilitation, protecting the welfare, respecting the wildness, and maintaining the dignity of each animal in life and in death.  Protecting welfare is an important aspect in acting in the animal’s best interest. 

Paragraph 8, third sentence—Nonreleasable animals have a right to euthanasia.  This revision implies that while euthanasia is not the only option, it is a primary tool to prevent suffering in nonreleasable wildlife.

Paragraph 11—A wildlife rehabilitator should conduct all business, activities, and communications in a professional manner, with honesty, integrity, compassion, and commitment, realizing that an individual’s conduct reflects on the entire field of wildlife rehabilitation.  With the widespread use of social media and the increased capacity in which information is disseminated, it is important that rehabilitators issue professional and accurate content in communications.  

An updated version of the Code of Ethics is available on the NWRA website.  If you should have any questions, please contact the Central Office at 320-230-9920.