Animal Welfare policy

Oyster checks potential wildlife projects carefully to ensure that they offer high standards of animal welfare. We also check that volunteers understand key points of good practice before working with animals.

Oyster’s standards when selecting projects

  • Projects should have expert staff and an excellent reputation in their field.
  • Projects should prioritise animal welfare, creating a good quality environment for the animals, with enrichment activities and appropriate food.
  • We support a “hands off” policy wherever possible, so that animals do not become unnecessarily attached to humans.
  • Sometimes there are necessary exceptions, such as hand-rearing and rehabilitation activities for young orphaned animals. If so, we would expect guidelines to prevent dependency or taming.
  • We check that protected species are not sold, traded or culled, except as part of a regulated activity that ensures sustainability and conservation in compliance with local and international laws.
  • The actions of the project should not have adverse effects on the viability and behaviour of populations in the wild.
  • There should be no cruel or abusive practices.
  • No animal will ever be forced or encouraged to do something against its will.

Sending Oyster participants

  • Oyster participants are encouraged never to touch the animals except where given specific guidance and permission.
  • In cases where volunteers will be working hands-on with the animals, full supervision, guidance and training must be given.
  • Unauthorised or improper interaction with wildlife will not be tolerated.
  • Volunteer numbers are monitored and capped if necessary to ensure that animals are not overwhelmed or the project jeopardised.

Individual projects