Unfortunately due to the Invasive Alien Species (Enforcement and Permitting) Order 2019 – regarding non-native animals; it is now an offence for us as a centre to treat and care for these animals. In particular for us, this means we will no longer take in grey squirrels, muntjac deer and Canada geese. If one is admitted to the centre, by law we will have to euthanise the animal.
- Licences – Previously, we were granted a licence to rehabilitate and release a specific number of each invasive species. This permission was revoked end of November 2019 and now the license (which has been granted to very few centres) only allows rehabilitation and a captive life for the wild animal which means any casualties brought into the Leicestershire wildlife hospital would have to be kept in captivity for the rest of their lives. We as a centre that aims to rehabilitate and then release, made the decision not to renew the license as keeping wild animals in captivity is not our aim. Keeping animals like these in captivity would not be fair as both species (muntjac deer and grey squirrels) are wild, solitary animals and not meant to live in groups, so keeping the species enclosed in groups would cause severe mental suffering.
- To take in and release without a license – the hospital could be fined per invasive species in our care and even shut down – risking the outcome of hundreds of other patients in our care daily.
- What this means – we can no longer care for grey squirrels, muntjac deer or Canada geese. If these species are brought to us they will have to be euthanised by law regardless of their condition which we do not agree with, but must undertake, therefore we recommend that you call us first so we can advise you of the limited options available.