Comments on: What should you do with an orphaned baby grey squirrel?

01 Nov 2020

In Practice Image

The dilemma

Your veterinary practice has been presented with an orphaned grey squirrel. On examination, you estimate the squirrel to be four weeks old – it weighs 60 g and its eyes are not yet open. It has no visible injuries and is well hydrated. The squirrel has a good chance of being successfully hand-reared to adulthood and could subsequently be released back into the wild. The wildlife rescue centre that you have taken squirrels to in the past has recently had their licence to release grey squirrels revoked, in accordance with the relevant legislation. How should you proceed?(IP, vol 187, pp 469–470)

Controversy has erupted surrounding the termination of sanctuaries’ rescue-release licences; it seems that previous ethical rescue strategies have been rendered illegal, whereas euthanasing grey squirrels that are in need of life-saving support appears to be advocated.

The legislation stems from the classification of grey...