The Board of FreeMe Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre
FreeMe Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre was established in 1997 and is situated in Johannesburg. FreeMe treats about 10000 cases of injured and orphaned urban wildlife each year.
The incumbent board has been derelict in their duty to FreeMe and our wildlife; in a short space of time they have brought the Centre to closure by NSPCA and GDARD.
This is a vote of NO CONFIDENCE in the current board.We need a passionate and experienced wildlife rehabilitation and management team to take control and re-open FreeMe for the sake of our urban wildlife.
NSPCA - NATIONAL COUNCIL OF SPCA's MEDIA RELEASE TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF FREEME REHABILITATION CENTRE, GAUTENG ISSUED ON 12 NOVEMBER 2015
FreeMe Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre located in Paulshof will be temporary closing its doors for intakes of ‘wild patients’, for the first time since establishment in 1997. Recent staff changes, followed by a number of events and incidents that occurred at the centre, called for numerous inspections and meetings by the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) and Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD).
The NSPCA was suddenly overwhelmed by concerns and unhappiness expressed by volunteers and staff regarding the day to day operational side of the centre, changes being implemented, care being provided or the lack thereof and the management of cases.
The operational permit of FreeMe has become invalid and Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) closed the centre and called a halt to operations until such time as new proposals and applications have been received and approved.
The temporary closure has forced this wildlife rehabilitation centre, probably the centre with the highest number of intakes in Gauteng, to ‘take stock’ and sort through numerous management and operational issues.
The closure will last until all permit and related issues have been resolved. Rehabilitation of animals must not be undertaken by just anyone; it requires specialist skills and experience to rescue, rehabilitate and release animals, ultimately removed from the wild, back to their natural habitat in such physical conditions where they will be able to feed by themselves, hold territories, find mates and ultimately survive for the next generation.
Too many wild animals end up permanently in cages as result of rehabilitation attempts by people with good intentions but whom lack the experience. Anyone involved in rehabilitation of wild animals requires a permit in terms of the Conservation legislation. The NSPCA is opposed to any degree of confinement which may cause distress or suffering and firmly believes that wild animals are wild and that’s where they belong.
Posted: 14 November 2015 (Updated: 12 January 2017)