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Code of Ethics


A Wildlife Rehabilitator's Code of Ethics

1. A wildlife rehabilitator should strive to achieve high standards of animal 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. A wildlife rehabilitator should be responsible, conscientious, and dedicated and should continuously work toward improving the quality of care given to wild animals undergoing rehabilitation.

3. A wildlife rehabilitator must abide by local, state, provincial and federal laws concerning wildlife, wildlife rehabilitation, and associated activities.

4. A wildlife rehabilitator should establish safe work habits and conditions, abiding by current health and safety practices at all times.

5. A wildlife rehabilitator should acknowledge limitations and enlist the assistance of a veterinarian or other trained professional when appropriate.

6. A wildlife rehabilitator should respect other rehabilitators and persons in related fields, sharing skills and knowledge in the spirit of cooperation for the welfare of the animals.

7. A wildlife rehabilitator should place optimum animal care above personal gain.


8. A wildlife rehabilitator should strive to provide professional and humane care in all phases of wildlife rehabilitation, respecting the wildness and maintaining the dignity of each animal in life and in death. Releasable animals should be maintained in a wild condition and released as soon as appropriate. Non-releasable animals which are inappropriate for education, foster-parenting, or captive breeding have a right to euthanasia.

9. A wildlife rehabilitator should 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.

10. A wildlife rehabilitator should on the basis of sound ecological principles, incorporating appropriate conservation ethics and an attitude of stewardship.

11. A wildlife rehabilitator should conduct all business 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.


From IWRA/NWRA Wildlife Rehabilitation Minimum Standards and Accreditation Program

Copyright 1993 IWRC & NWRA



The National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (NWRA) is a nonprofit, international membership organization committed to promoting and improving the integrity and professionalism of wildlife rehabilitation and contributing to the preservation of natural ecosystems.


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