EARS is a unique collaboration of rescue centres and sanctuaries across Europe. We aim to be a strong and effective European network to support, promote and achieve continuous improvements in animal welfare. At the same time, we work to eliminate the very reasons that necessitate the existence of rescue centres and sanctuaries.
Our objectives are to:
1) Build a strong and effective network of rescue centres and sanctuaries across Europe
The strength of EARS lies in its network of Partner facilities. The collective knowledge of the network along with its combined with the shared values are the basis of all the work we do. We will continue to reach out to facilities yet to become part of the network while also ensuring any facilities that do join meet our joining criteria. Annually we organise a meeting for Partners and guests to share expertise and knowledge, participate in important debates, and receive training in areas of need. Meetings are rotated around Partner facilities to learn more about how each organisation provides appropriate and professional species-specific care and management and solves the challenges faced in the daily management of running a rescue centre and sanctuary. In between these meetings, important information on developments and news is circulated to Partners to further build capacity. We are also working to ensure our Partners, and the wider rescue community, has access to the most up to date resources and publications in the field of animal rescue and organisational management.
2) Work to ensure wild animals in need of housing are provided with the most appropriate care possible across Europe Many species have evolved to live in very complex social and physical environments. In the wild, some species are predominately solitary whilst others may have social needs and live in groups. Kept in inappropriate captive conditions and management regimes, animals may develop abnormal behaviours or be physically maimed, preventing them from temporarily, and sometimes permanently, from interacting with members of the same species. Some species are simply not suited to living in captivity. This can make finding a suitable home challenging. Working together EARS aims to facilitate the most appropriate placement, one that provides professional standards of care and management. One of the main ways we do this is through our searchable online database of rescue facilities - the EARS Rescue Database.
3) Ensure the work of rescue centres and sanctuaries is properly recognized and supported within the EU framework and at the national level Rescue centres and sanctuaries for exotic and wild animals play a pivotal role in supporting governments to combat illegal wildlife trade and enforce a number of different laws including animals welfare and human and animal health. It is therefore essential that governments and the EU properly support and co-ordinate with the rescue centre community. EARS is working at both the EU and national level to help ensure this happens and that rescue centres and sanctuaries given the status they deserve.
4) Ensure the collective knowledge and expertise within the EARS network supports ongoing efforts to reduce the trade and exploitation of wild animals in Europe
EARS aims to be a strong and effective European network to support, promote and achieve continuous improvements in animal welfare. At the same time, EARS works to eliminate the very reasons that necessitate the existence of rescue centres and sanctuaries. This is achieved by lobbying, supporting campaigns, and forging partnerships with public and private agencies to advance and integrate animal welfare and wildlife conservation considerations into policy and practice across Europe.
5) Facilitate the exchange of information, knowledge and expertise to promote high standards of care and rehabilitation for rescued wildlife This very much works in synergy with our first objective - helping our network of Partners and Associates to share their experience and knowledge with each other. Where there are gaps in knowledge we will endeavour to bring in external expertise through our Expert Portal. We will also build up our online resources so Partners and other animal welfare practitioners can have access to the most up to date information for the care and welfare of captive wild animals.