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Veterinary care for wildlife

Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action
16 Jan 2024

Vets can lawfully treat sick, injured or abandoned wildlife. The Wildlife Regulations 2013 and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 provide exemptions that allow a registered veterinarian to lawfully treat sick, injured or abandoned wildlife without any further permissions. 

These exemptions also apply to vet nurses and other clinic staff, provided they are operating in accordance with the instructions of a registered veterinarian. 

Wildlife require expert care, treatment and rehabilitation. Any person can transport sick, injured, orphaned or abandoned wildlife to a registered veterinarian or authorised wildlife rehabilitator. However, only attempt to capture wildlife in need of care if it is safe to do so. 

Further information about helping wildlife, including wildlife rehabilitators, can be found on the Sick, injured or abandoned wildlife(opens in a new window) webpage. 

If you are unsure whether a person holds a current wildlife rehabilitator authorisation, call DEECA.

If you’re still unsure about veterinary care for wildlife, please reach out to us for a discussion of your individual circumstances by calling 136 186 or emailing us