Wildlife Rehabilitation Regulations Impacting Use of Volunteers, Interns and Staff - Excessive Bureaucracy or Ensuring Quality Animal Care?

Many wildlife rehabilitators holding wildlife rehabilitation licenses or permits, especially those operating high volume rehabilitation facilities, have﷯ often enlisted help from others (volunteers, staff, interns). Most of the people helping rehabilitators with tasks involving direct animal care have not undergone rehabilitation licensure themselves. Recently, at least one wildlife agency clarified in their regulations how unlicensed people assisting rehabilitators with direct wildlife care shall be trained and supervised, permitted tasks they can perform and new recordkeeping requirements. This paper describes what prompted these new regulations, approved in Colorado in 2009, on a key aspect of rehabilitation that has generally not been addressed in state regulations. It describes the regulations as well as reactions from rehabilitators. Since rehabilitator practices regarding the training, supervising, and monitoring of unlicensed volunteers, staff and/or interns can have a direct impact on considerations of wildlife ‘possession’ and quality  of animal care, other state wildlife agencies may consider similar regulations. Click here for the pdf of the article described above.

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