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  • Writer's pictureRae Gellel

Why You Shouldn't Put An Animal "Out of Its Misery"

Updated: Apr 3, 2022

We can't believe we have to say this but: please do not attempt to euthanise animals yourself.

Many times when our volunteers are tagged in posts about injured or baby animals on local groups, there will be a number of wildlife 'experts' in the comments suggesting that the person who found the animal 'put it out of its misery', often when the animal is perfectly treatable and not even seriously unwell. Unless you are a wildlife specialist vet or an wildlife professional of some kind, you are not qualified to assess when an animal is so injured or unwell that it is beyond help, except in the most extreme of circumstances - say when an animal has obvious, catastrophic bodily injuries. Wildlife Rescue centres are able to save hundreds, if not thousands of sick, orphaned and injured animals every year and just because something is unwell, does not automatically mean it needs to die. So please do not end an animal's life based on your best guess, and seek the advice of a wildlife professional who can make a proper assessment and decide on the best course of action. Moreover, unless you have been trained to euthanise animals humanely, quickly and painlessly, in a manner that does not breach the Animal Welfare Act, you should not be attempting to euthanise animals yourself anyway. You may cause further injury and suffering and you may be breaking the law. Today this was taken one step further when a member of the public opted to stamp on a fledgling bird on the basis that it was suffering and wouldn't survive. As every major wildlife rescue organisation has stated about a billion times over, it is normal for fledgling birds to leave the nest with limited flying ability. They are not sick or in need of help. This bird was perfectly healthy and just following the normal process of becoming independent. It was killed based on a completely uneducated guess about it's condition by a member of the public. We know that like so many of these posts, the message probably won't reach the people who need to hear it, nonetheless our team are so upset and horrified by this incident that we felt we ought to at least try to do something to prevent it happening again. Please, please, always get advice from a wildlife rescue centre before you take such extreme action.

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