The Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife is launching the Wildlife Friendly Vets program, which aims to support wildlife volunteers around the country.
The Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife is launching the Wildlife Friendly Vets program, which aims to support wildlife volunteers around the country.

Wildlife heroes to support native animals during bushfires

Veterinarians will be able to access better training in order to prepare them for future disasters, following the hundreds of thousands of wildlife deaths during the Black Summer bushfires.

In NSW alone, a minimum of $1.8 million of free vet services are administered to wildlife each year, with this figure estimated to be far greater following recent disasters.

Veterinarians report that many aspects of their formal education had not adequately prepared them for emergency wildlife care.

As a result, The Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife is launching the Wildlife Friendly Vets program as part of its 'Wildlife Heroes' project, which aims to support wildlife volunteers around the country.

The Wildlife Heroes Wildlife Friendly Vets program aims to:

  • Promote the challenging and unpaid work veterinary practices do, treating native wildlife (to vet clients, media and general public).

  • Improve veterinary wildlife care through funding and training.

  • Improve vet client awareness of wildlife rescue and wildlife needs.

  • Support wildlife rescue co-ordination between carers and vets, including during emergencies.

 

Qantas, an orphaned Eastern Grey Kangaroo joey whose feet were burned in recent bushfires, is held by WIRES Carer Kevin Clapson at his property in East Lynne, South of Sydney, Tuesday, January 14, 2020. (AAP Image/Steven Saphore)
Qantas, an orphaned Eastern Grey Kangaroo joey whose feet were burned in recent bushfires, is held by WIRES Carer Kevin Clapson at his property in East Lynne, South of Sydney, Tuesday, January 14, 2020. (AAP Image/Steven Saphore)

Dr Bree Talbot, Foundation Veterinarian at Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital welcomes this initiative.

"The unique physiology and anatomy of Australian wildlife species make training and expertise essential to effective treatment, handling and care," Dr Talbot said.

"We warmly welcome general practice veterinarians and nurses with the passion to develop skills and experience in caring for wildlife who are joining the Wildlife Friendly Vets community.

"It's a wonderful initiative of the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife."

To join this community, nominations can be made on behalf of or by vets and vet practices, with the first 100 signed up receiving additional resources as an incentive.

All veterinary clinics, vets and vet nurses that are committed to providing quality care to native wildlife are eligible.

CEO of the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife, Ian Darbyshire, said that it is important for vets to know that this community is available to them.

"We are so grateful to the vets and wildlife carers around the country who have worked tirelessly in rescuing our wildlife through some of the worst disasters Australia has ever seen," Mr Darbyshire said.

"It is with thanks to the Wildlife Heroes project, supported through the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation initiative of the Commonwealth Government, that we can continue to promote these heroes and improve veterinary wildlife care."

Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Koala. Ember the 18-month-old koala was treated for burns from the recent bushfires on her paws and her rump and also suffers with Chlamydia. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Koala. Ember the 18-month-old koala was treated for burns from the recent bushfires on her paws and her rump and also suffers with Chlamydia. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

 

 

Dr Stephen Van Mil, Founder and CEO, Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital said that the Wildlife Friendly Vets program is more important now than ever.

"Natural disasters, habitat loss, road accidents, feral pest attacks and disease mean there's a growing demand to treat and rehabilitate injured and traumatised wildlife," Dr Van Mil said.

"We desperately need more veterinarians and vet nurses with the skills and confidence to care for native animals, and we applaud Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife for providing these resources and training to the veterinary industry."

For more information or to nominate, visit www.wildlifeheroes.org.au/wildlife-friendly-vets/.

Originally published as Wildlife heroes to support native animals during bushfires



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