RFAWA Policy Statements

RFAWA Policy Statements


One of the primary functions of RFAWA is the provision of effective and meaningful rehabilitation techniques for raptors.  Therefore, in all cases where any raptor has had to spend a protracted amount of time in relative idleness (compared to the opportunities that the wild environment provides), we support and encourage raptor rehabilitation methods that measurably allow for the raptor to be able to fully demonstrate it's ability to successfully predate upon it's natural quarry in their natural environment, to a level that is consistent with normal survival for that species.  For example by means of gradual release via the 'hacking' method, by the use of falconry techniques, or by any other method which provides a 'safety net' during the critical initial days and weeks immediately after final release, such as by monitoring via radio-telemetry and/or GPS tracking.   Our criteria when determining whether any raptor in care should be free exercise flown for the purpose of rehabilitation, requires that we can be satisfied that there will be a high likelihood of an increased chance of survival due to enhanced fitness and conditioning prior to final release which is directly attributable to the free exercise flying programme, coupled with controlled exposure to the natural wild environment.


Of course the numbers of practitioners and the raptors that we can help are, and are most likely to remain very small, such is the level of competence, commitment and dedication required to properly care for these birds in this way.  We acknowledge that most raptors in care do not necessarily require, or may benefit from being free exercise flown and unfortunately, the majority of raptors that come into care will never be suitable for release back to the wild for one reason or another and inevitably, tough decisions have to be made more often than not.


We all want the raptor to be fully restored and to have at least a reasonable chance of surviving once released, so in order to be sure that we are acting lawfully whilst ensuring we fulfil our moral obligation to the raptor, we look out for the signs that  indicate full capability and consistency with being able to survive unaided, and strive to release the bird at the  

earliest reasonable opportunity once they are evident.  

RFAWA acknowledges the importance of the careful application of sound ethics with regard to closely working with wild raptors for the purposes of rehabilitation and release back to the wild environment. 

Please click on the links below to view the following RFAWA Policy Documents.


Click here to view the RFAWA Code of Ethics

Click here for RFAWA Policy Statement 1 (Raptor selection criteria)

Click here for RFAWA Policy Statement 2 (Use of equipment and tethering)

Click here for RFAWA Policy Statement 3 (Use of Radio Telemetry and GPS)

Click here for RFAWA Information sheet (Imprinting/mal-imprinting

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