If I find a dead wild animal?

 
You should report the dead animal to us at Garden Wildlife Health. These reports are critical in helping us to understand the disease threats to British wildlife, even if you are unable to submit a carcass.
Veterinary approval is needed for carcass submission. During the reporting process you will be asked if you are willing to submit a body for post-mortem examination. Do not submit a carcass until you have received confirmation from the vets and have printed the unique submission label.

 

We are normally interested in receiving wild animal carcasses from the following species:

Amphibians

Birds*

(not including waterfowl,
wading birds or gulls*)

Hedgehogs

Reptiles

 
There are several other wild animal disease surveillance projects in Britain that solicit reports of wildlife mortality from members of the public, including:
Others species:
If you have an unusual wildlife disease incident to report please contact us and we may be able to provide further advice. Alternatively you should contact your local APHA post-mortem examination centre which can examine unusual mortality incidents in wildlife.

If I find a sick wild animal?

 
The Garden Wildlife Health vets are unable to treat sick or injured wild animals, however it is important that these cases are reported to us so we can build a picture of the issues affecting garden wildlife health throughout the country. You can do this by reporting incidents here.
If you find a sick or injured wild animal that is capable of avoiding threats (such as domestic animals and human beings) it may be in the best interests for this animal to be left alone. However, if you have doubts or the animal is not capable of fending for itself you should contact your local veterinary surgeon or animal rescue organisation (see below).
Organisations that can help with tending to an injured or sick wild animal:
You can find your local vet by using the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ search function. Vets are required to render veterinary care to relieve suffering in all species. They are entitled to seek payment for these services but this will vary between practices so we recommend that you call them in advance if possible. Do not expect every case to be treated in a similar manner to your pet. An ethical decision will be made in each individual case regarding the merit of pursuing veterinary treatment versus euthanasia. Wildlife have unique requirements for survival after treatment and are relatively intolerant of prolonged captivity (even for veterinary care). Please bear this in mind when asking your local vet for help.
The RSPCA (England and Wales) and the Scottish SPCA (Scotland) may provide veterinary care for wildlife casualties. Wild animal emergencies can be reported to the RSPCA on tel. 0300 1234 999, or the Scottish SPCA on tel. 03000 999 999.
The British Wildlife Rehabilitation Council maintains a list of rescue organisations sorted by county.
Back to the wild – wildlife treatment and rehabilitation

How do I dispose of a dead wild animal?

If it is not convenient to submit a carcass for examination, or the GWH team have confirmed that they do not need to examine the specimen on this occasion, you should consider disposing of the body or leaving it alone.
You can dispose of the carcass by burying it at an appropriate depth or by putting it in the bin (using the guidelines below). If you are unable to follow any of the recommended advice please contact your local council for further information.
Wild animals can carry several diseases that are infectious to people and domestic animals and some simple hygiene precautions will help minimise the risk of infection.
When disposing of a wild animal carcass please follow the guidelines below:
  • Avoid touching the carcass with your bare hands.
  • If possible, wear disposable protective gloves when picking up and handling the carcass.
  • Place the carcass in a suitable plastic bag, preferably leak proof. Care should be taken not to contaminate the outside of the bag.
  • Tie the bag and place it in a second plastic bag.
  • Remove gloves by turning them inside out and then place them in the second plastic bag. Tie the bag and place in a crush proof container and dispose of in the normal household refuse bin.
  • Hands and forearms should be washed thoroughly with soap and water after handling any wild animal carcass.
  • If disposable gloves are not available, a plastic bag can be used as a make-shift glove. When the carcass has been picked up, the bag can be turned back on itself and tied. It should then be placed in a second plastic bag, tied and disposed of in the normal household waste.
  • Alternatively, the dead animal can be buried, but not in a plastic bag.
  • Any clothing that has been in contact with the dead animal should be washed using ordinary washing detergent following the manufacturer’s recommendations.

How do I report a suspected wildlife crime?

Contact your local police on their non-emergency number and ask to speak to the wildlife crime officer.
The Partnership For Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAW) is an agency body made up of organisations involved in wildlife law enforcement. It’s sponsored by the Department for Food, Environment & Rural Affairs.
Wildlife crime publications by PAW

If I find a ringed bird?

Bird ringing in Europe is coordinated by Euring. If you find a ringed bird you should report it to them here.
Why report a ringed bird?