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Code of Ethics
1. Kawartha Wildlife Centre will strive to achieve high standards of wildlife patient care through knowledge and an understanding of the ﬁeld. Continuing efforts must be made to keep informed of current rehabilitation information, methods, and regulations.
2. Kawartha Wildlife Centre will be responsible, conscientious, and dedicated, and should continuously work toward improving the quality of care given to wildlife patients undergoing rehabilitation.
3. Kawartha Wildlife Centre will abide by local, provincial and federal laws concerning wildlife, wildlife rehabilitation, and associated activities.
4. Kawartha Wildlife Centre will establish safe work habits and conditions, abiding by current health and safety practices at all times.
5. Kawartha Wildlife Centre will acknowledge limitations of our volunteers and enlist the assistance of a veterinarian or other trained professional when appropriate.
6. Kawartha Wildlife Centre will respect other rehabilitators and persons in related ﬁelds, sharing skills and knowledge in the spirit of cooperation for the welfare of the wildlife patients.
7. Kawartha Wildlife Centre will place optimum wildlife patient care above personal gain.
8. Kawartha Wildlife Centre will strive to provide professional and humane care in all phases of wildlife rehabilitation, respecting the wildness and maintaining the dignity of each wildlife patient in life and in death.
9. Releasable wildlife patients should be maintained in a wild condition and released as soon as appropriate to maximize their success in the wild. This requires a “minimal” approach to humanization. Examples of appropriate protocols include but are not limited to:
Wildlife patients are listed with a unique identifier, not a human name
Workers are required not to speak or handle wildlife patients more than is absolutely necessary
Manual, routine, or invasive procedures are kept to the absolute minimum
Husbandry and caging that is as appropriate to mimic wild conditions for a given species, as possible at Kawartha Wildlife Centre
10. Non-releasable wildlife patients have a right to euthanasia.
11. Kawartha Wildlife Centre will encourage community support and involvement through volunteer training and public education. The common goal should be to promote a responsible concern for living beings and the welfare of the environment.
12. Kawartha Wildlife Centre will work on the basis of sound ecological principles, incorporating appropriate conservation ethics and an attitude of stewardship.
13. In the event that wildlife patients are brought to the centre, but KWC is unable to care for them, KWC will provide the best attempt to find a suitable centre for that patient. If none is available, the patient will be euthanized.
14. Kawartha Wildlife Centre will conduct all business, communications, and activities in a professional manner with honesty, integrity, compassion, and commitment, realizing that an individual’s conduct reﬂects on the entire ﬁeld of wildlife rehabilitation.
Our primary reason for interfering with wildlife is to relieve distress and/or pain, predominately caused by anthropogenic pressures. In keeping with our mission, our focus must be on the rehabilitation of animals with as little interference as possible and to return them to their natural habitat if and when they have recovered.
We must, to the best of our abilities, work in tandem with any ongoing conversation initiatives and in consultation with relevant conservation organizations. In no way must a welfare initiative ever compromise the survival of any existing wild populations. We must never attempt to interfere with the natural course of events or impede a hunt in the name of a rescue. Predators and prey are integral parts of the food chain and we must never confuse compassion with interference.
Adopted from Minimum Standards For Wildlife Rehabilitation, Fourth Edition, 2012
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