What to do if you find a dead wild animal
I’ve found a dead animal in a public place – what can I do?
If you come across a dead wild animal in a public place, contact your local council. They should be able to safely dispose of the carcass.
What if I find a dead wild animal in my garden/on my land?
You should dispose of small animals (rabbits, hedgehogs, mice, rats, gulls and all smaller birds) in your general/household waste bin, being sure to double bag the carcass. Wear gloves and remember to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
For larger animals, you could ask your local authority to collect the carcass. If the council doesn’t offer this service, you could contact a private disposal company. Remember to check if there’s a fee for this.
I’ve found a dead bird/birds – what should I do?
If you find dead wild birds or waterfowl such as swans and ducks, you should report them to DEFRA’s helpline on 03459 33 55 77. Do not touch or pick up any dead birds you find. For more information on bird flu, click here.
Do I need to report a dead animal?
You are not required by law to report dead wildlife. However, reporting a death to the right organisation can help monitor population numbers, spread of diseases and other issues animals face. Some organisations even offer to help with uplift of carcasses.
Here is a list of the appropriate agency to contact if you find a certain type of wild animal dead:
Wild birds - DEFRA
Garden birds, hedgehogs, reptiles and amphibians – Garden Wildlife Health
Raptors (outside of avian influenza season) – Garden Wildlife Health or Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme
Bats – Bat Conservation Trust
Seals, cetaceans, basking sharks or marine turtles – SMASS
Otters – Cardiff Otter Project
Red Squirrels – SSRS
I’ve found a dead wild animal in suspicious circumstance – what should I do?
If you come across a dead wild animal and find anything suspicious about it, you should call Police Scotland’s Wildlife Crime Unit on 101. We do not have enforcement powers to investigate dead wild animals, but we are happy to assist Police Scotland regularly support their investigations.