"I have received some very alarming news regarding the RSPCA’s decision NOT to treat any wildlife, Hedgehogs included
The RSPCA's new policy ( because of lack of funds due to the credit crunch) is to euthanise ( KILL!!!) all wildlife taken to them or picked up by them
They will not pay for any wildlife to be taken to a vet or wildlife rescue centre and inspectors & ACO ( Animal Collection Officers) have been told to kill all wildlife they get instead. The Inspector or ACO has to get specific permission from the duty Chief Inspector for the region/group BEFORE considering any treatment or rescue/rehabilitation of any wildlife. This is all to do with saving money. The Chief Inspectors are instructing euthanasia for almost everything.
I am really worried that RSPCA staff are being told to kill sick, injured, orphaned hedgehogs and all other wildlife. If they become ill, no matter how minor or easily treatable the illness or injury is, they will be automatically killed regardless, without even being fully or properly assessed. Even if just cold, hungry and underweight. What about those just waking up from hibernation? They are all just thin and weak, nothing else wrong with them.
The big worry that I have, is that a member of public rings the RSPCA control centre. The call centre staff don't know that a different policy is now in place. They take the call, pass it to an ACO or inspector. The inspector or ACO report back to the Control Centre saying the call has been dealt with. The public won't know that "dealt with" means euthanised, instead of taking the animal to a vet or wildlife hospital for care and attention.
I can understand that the RSPCA has financial problems. It is totally unacceptable to use Euthanasia because of a decrease in their funds.
We must all protest about this decision by the RSPCA.
It is now even more important to tell as many people as you can to feed and look after hedgehogs in their garden. We need to keep them healthy. Once they become ill, that is the end of it. They will not be treated or saved any more.
Please spread the word, ask all your friends and family to support their local wildlife hospital and local carers.
Please do NOT ring RSPCA for wildlife. Contact your local carer or wildlife centre"
We have since received the following comment from a RSPCA volunteer:"No of course its not true. Where do they get these stories. For a start members of the BVA and some other vets do not charge to see wildlife during working hours and we have 3/4 HQ run wildlife units who take wildlife along with many branch homes and volunteers and fosterers. Go put them straight for me please if you get the chance"
Now, we cannot leave a rumour like this. In recent years the RSPCA have done a lot of things which do not overly impress me, and their attitude towards captive exotic animals does, in our opinion, leave a lot to be desired. But I cannot bring myself to believe that the above statement can possibly be true.
I would like as many readers of this blog as possible to telephone 0300 1230721 and ask for the Wildlife Centre Administrator, or telephone the advice line: 0300 1234 555. Politely ask them for a comment on the above allegations. Then tell us what happened.
If it is true then the result of enough people telephoning them on the same day to ask about this policy, will give them a `shot across the bows` that such a policy is unacceptable from an animal welfare organisation, in which the British people have put their trust. If not true, then it will alert the RSPCA to the fact that their current PR is not working, and that in the public eye they have changed from a relatively benign organisation, into a rather sinsister Kafkaesque one that - on the whole - people no longer trust.