Governments need to step up for wildlife rehabilitators

A lack of legislation and resources is putting wildlife at risk – and the volunteers and non-profits who are their first and last line of defense are getting worried.

The Wildlife Rescue Association (WRA) of B.C. spoke to Metro Vancouver on the one-year anniversary of an oil spill into English Bay last year – and affected as many as 30 birds, only three of whom were treated by WRA (the others were not found).

BLOG: What English Bay oil spill means for the animals

“Right now, there’s no legislation to protect wildlife in an oil spill situation, so it’s very difficult to get resources for it,” WRA’s Linda Bakker told Metro. “As a non-profit we do what we can, but it’s not enough.”

Bakker explained that WRA operates with the assistance of approximately 200 volunteers and the number of animals coming through their doors each year is on the rise, a trend that can be seen in all jurisdictions.

The Fur-Bearers are proud supporters of wildlife rehabilitators across the country, and recognize the vital role they play. But we need our governments to recognize this need, too, by creating incentives and funding opportunities for these small non-profits. Perhaps the millions spent on bailing out fur farms or trap testing could be redirected to helping the animals affected by those industries – something we believe most Canadians would support.


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Established in 1953, The Fur-Bearers is a charitable, non-partisan organization whose goals are to end the commercial fur trade and promote solutions for wildlife coexistence in communities. Your donation is tax-deductible.

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