Caring for injured wildlife, step by step
Posted Dec. 13, 2012
A new AVMA chart helps navigate the often complex legal landscape associated with treating sick or injured wild animals and hybrids.
The Wildlife Decision Tree features a series of questions, answers, and information veterinarians can turn to when presented with a wild animal in need of veterinary care. Topics include which laws and regulations are to be followed, proper documentation, and when emergency euthanasia is appropriate.
Additionally, the chart addresses questions such as these: “Is it legal to treat this species or hybrid?” “Is the animal suffering from imminently fatal injuries?” and “Are you knowledgeable and prepared to treat this animal?”
The Wildlife Decision Tree is available for free download at www.avma.org
. The AVMA recommends that clinics post copies of the chart with contact information for the state wildlife agency, local U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent, and state veterinarian.
The online version of the Wildlife Decision Tree includes links to other resources, including the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association, USFWS, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service.