Membership Information

FAWNA (NSW) Inc – COVID-19 member update to its volunteers in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation​

While COVID-19 continues to infect our community FAWNA wishes to update members on its recommendations for Covid-safe practices for our volunteers.

All FAWNA volunteers must understand that their work for FAWNA is voluntary and every member has the choice whether or not to respond to a request from FAWNA to attend a wildlife rescue or pick up an animal from any premises. In 2022 wildlife rescue is permitted to continue provided Covid-safe practices are adhered to.

For FAWNA gatherings and training courses your Management Team has determined we will ask for vaccination certificates to be presented, and if a volunteer can not produce a certificate the condition of entry is that they wear a mask except when eating or drinking, and that they keep to the 1.5-metre distance from others.

As wildlife rescuers and carers our work does not go away because we are recommended to socially distance ourselves.

It is entirely up to each FAWNA volunteer whether they accept a call to go out on a rescue or to agree to accept an animal that someone might bring to their house for rehabilitation.

Because COVID is still infecting people in the community, we recommend you keep your distance from others as much as possible: there are ways and means of safely doing that and continuing in your rehabilitation work.

Heed the recommendations of keeping 1.5 – 2 metres separation between yourself and another person. It is not mandatory but we still recommend wearing a mask in the approved fashion when you are among strangers and in busily populated areas.

If you knock on a door at a rescue, step away from the door and wait for the householder to answer. Explain that you wish to maintain a separation of 2 metres for their household’s and your safety and ask if this is possible. If not, consider not continuing with the rescue.

To maintain separation might mean that a box or bag containing an animal should be placed on the ground by the person who has it, that person then stepping back to the required separation, then you picking up the box, preferably with gloved hands.

The same for a rescue – make sure that anyone observing the rescue remains >2 metres away from you and preferably further apart so you do not have to worry if you come into their personal space during the rescue.

Hygiene and lots of handwashing are important – before and after any animal handling, toilet visits and touching surfaces. You should be able to hum Happy Birthday twice while you wash your hands with soap and water – making sure to jiggle any rings you might be wearing up and down your fingers to ensure they are clean around and underneath.

The recommendation is to use a clean towel or cloth each time to dry your hands.

Soap and water are more effective than antibacterial hand sanitisers which are suspected to have a role in the increase in antibiotic resistance.

Sneezing or coughing into your crooked elbow, or tissue and safely discarding it is an important way to limit the spread of any virus or germs.

The hardest part is remembering and not thinking first of the animal and rushing in without fully preparing yourself with appropriate wraps, wipes, gloves and means of avoiding contamination from surfaces and people.

We teach you in training to be prepared, have your gear ready, take stock, and take a deep breath while you plan how you are going to carry out your rescue – it is even more important now that you plan for this extra dimension – Covid-19.

What we do is an essential service and we must take all Work Health & Safety precautions to protect ourselves and others we come across.

Your FAWNA Management Team
Updated 21 June 2022

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