Please let me have any tips, comments, ideas, problems or information that I can pass on to other hedgehog rehabilitators by way of this newsletter. If you are anywhere other than in the UK please remember this newsletter is about the European Hedgehog and that drugs and legal implications may be different in other countries. There have been very few contributions to this newsletter hence the unusually short newsletter. If I am not sent any information I cannot pass it on.

I am also using e-mails to get quick answers and views on carers’ problems. Topics can then be included in later newsletters. The originator of any query receives comments as they come through.

Change of details
One of the problems faced by those who keep a contacts list is that when people change their details they do not always notify everyone who has their contact details. So if you have changed your telephone number, address or stopped taking in hedgehogs do let everyone who has your details know about the changes. If your details are on some ones web site they should also be notified.

New rules for registering small charities.

The following is an extract from Charity News (issued by the Charity Commission) and is about proposed changes to the Charity Acts.

“New rules for registering small charities. This would mean that charities with an annual income of under £10,000 cannot register with the Commission. All existing charities below that income level would be removed from the register and would no longer be able to call themselves 'registered charities'. They would still have charitable status (but wouldn't be on the register of charities), and be able to get tax relief from the Inland Revenue and advice from us.”

Requests for information

The following requests for information have been received:

1. Has any carer had experience of E coli affecting the nasal passage? Snuffles, an adult hedgehog, came to me in late August with what the vet diagnosed as pneumonia. After a course of antibiotic (Ceporex 50mg administered 1/2 tab twice daily over fifteen days) he was breathing well but sneezing repeatedly and producing a lot of mucus.

More antibiotic improved this condition to a great extent but still left him with the problem of the mucus. Eventually my vet suggested an x-ray of the lungs and swab samples from the nasal passage. The x-ray thankfully showed the lungs were clear but the diagnosis from the swabs showed there was an E coli infection in the nose.

Apart from the runny nose Snuffles appears in good health with an excellent appetite. I am now trying various homeopathic remedies but with no success so far. If anyone has any suggestions or information on this condition, please help

2. There is a painkiller you can get over the counter at the chemist called Buscopan, I know this can be used on some animals, can it be used on hedgehogs and if so do you know the dose?

Hedgehog Awareness Week
From this year onwards Hedgehog Awareness Week will be organised by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society. In 2003 it will run from 4th to 10th May. The BHPS will be sending out information packs to everyone on its carers list. I know that many of you find this week a great opportunity to raise the profile of your organisations, raise funds and increase the public’s knowledge about hedgehogs.

If you are keeping several hedgehogs together remember that at this time of the year there is the chance of unwanted pregnancies occurring even between siblings. You have been warned!!

Do also watch out for the males trying to get out. Once awake from hibernation they want to get out and sow wild oats. Prolonged confinement can cause stress and fighting.

Animal Welfare Bill
There is little to say on this other than DEFRA have consulted in writing on this Bill and are now holding meetings with interested parties. The consultation and meetings are to decide on the issues that might be included in the Bill. The most important for the wildlife carer is that of licensing animal sanctuaries. I understand that any invertebrates are included in the definition of “animal” so this means wildlife as well as domestic animal sanctuaries. Putting the Bill together and its secondary legislation will be a long process and it is though that it will not be ready until 2004 at the earliest.

The BHPS has sent in written comments and a trustee has also attended one of the meetings.

Uist Hedgehogs
SNH are still dragging their feet about what can and cannot be done by those wishing to relocate the hedgehogs. However a meeting was held between BHPS, Mammal Trust UK and St Tiggywinkles and we hope to start moving the hedgehogs from the Islands in April (depending on when they come out of hibernation). The BHPS will be writing to its carer members to explain how carers can help with the distribution of the hedgehogs and asking for volunteers to help with the relocation and also help with the capture on the Islands. If you are not on the BHPS’s list of carers and wish to help let me know and I can pass on your details.

Next Newsletter
As I am not sure of how much extra work the Uist hedgehogs will incur and as the relocation looks like it will take place in April it is possible that there will be no further newsletter until July. I will try to e-mail updates on the Uist hedgehog situation as they occur but due to the extra work involved in printing and posting updates I will not be able to send updates to those not on e-mail – sorry.

As there may not be an April newsletter can I just mention the following. Do make sure you are ready to accept the first of the season’s orphans. I still get calls asking what can be used for a substitute milk or small teats for these orphans. Carers should be ready in advance and have all the necessary equipment and milk to hand. It is also worth having a quick read through any rearing literature to refresh your memory on dilutions of milk, age indicators etc.

It is also worth mentioning that if a single orphan is brought to you there may be others. A supply of fliers that can be put through local letterboxes to alert those in gardens where a hoglet has been found will put more people on the alert for further litter mates. A short note on what to listen for and first aid and a contact point would be useful. The finder can then pop the notes through to their neighbours. In some cases the original finder may offer to act as a collection and delivery contact.

Courses etc
The British Wildlife Rehabilitation Council is planning a Symposium for February 2003 on the theme of 'Wildlife Rehabilitation and Natural History'. This is a theme that has not been covered in any recent BWRC Symposia and is a vital, and often neglected, aspect of any attempt to rehabilitate a wildlife casualty.

The aim of the meeting is to encourage a dialogue between rehabilitators and those working with and studying wild populations, such as biologists, epidemiologists and naturalists and to emphasise the value to those handling wildlife casualties of a sound knowledge of the natural history of the animals that are held under their care. The principles of the application of such essential knowledge will be demonstrated through practical examples of rehabilitation and release of some of the commoner species.

Speakers (provisionally) will include: Mat Brash MRCVS on badgers, Chris Sperring and Cambell Mum on owls and diurnal raptors, Grace Yoxon on otters, Bruce MacLean MRCVS on reptiles, Paul Llewellyn on Passerines, Lincoln Garland on the University of Bristol's Wildlife Rehabilitation Project.

The Symposium will be held at The Meeting Rooms of London Zoo on Saturday lst February 2003. The cost will be £20 for the Symposium for the day. Further details and bookings can be obtained from Mrs Anne Maskell, 20 Garlic Row, Cambridge CB5 8HW or e-mail

Wildcare Conference – 14/15th March 2003. This will be held at the Glen Mhor Hotel, Inverness. Topics will include the seal virus, oil spills and contingencies and the popular session on “Trade Secrets” will be repeated. Costs range from £30 for a day delegate to £95-£120 to include accommodation. Contact Grace Yoxon 01471 822487 or e-mail for more information.

If you are organising a course or know of one please let me know and I can include it in the next newsletter, the next issue will be out towards the end of April 2003 (this edition may be missed and the next one will be out in July 2003 – see note above).

Please send any comments or contributions for the next newsletter to:
Kay Bullen, 5 Foreland Road, Whitchurch, Cardiff CF14 7AR tel 029 20623985.
web site at:
January 2003

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