whooper swan
Wildlife Rehabilitation Course

Two day course - 22 CVE credits!!


IWRC eagle

NEXT COURSE - 7th & 8th November - FULL

Want to be notified of upcoming Courses? Click HERE to join our mailing list

Due to the unprecidented demand for the IWRC’s Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation Course we are delighted to announce that we will be running it as demand dictates. The International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council have kindly facilitated this by training an Irish Instructor to deliver the Course. This will be the fourth consecutive year that we have offered this Course and it has only grown in popularity - a great sign for our wildlife!

This training course is a specialist course concentrating on the theory and practice of wildlife rehabilitation and in order to provide the optimum learning opportunity the Course is limited to an intimate group of twenty delegates.

The IWRC are the leading developers of professional training for wildlife care providers in North America and internationally.   This course is an opportunity to sample the quality of rehabilitation training opportunities that are provided by the IWRC.   The IWRC offers both classroom and online based training in aspects such as wildlife nutrition, parasitology, pain management and basic wildlife rehabilitation. 

IWRC flyer photos


The Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation Course is a comprehensive introductory course in wildlife rehabilitation.  Lecture topics include: introduction to wildlife rehabilitation; anatomy and physiology; calculating fluid requirements; handling and physical restraint; thermoregulation; stress; basic shock cycle; initial care and physical examination; nutrition and associated diseases; standards for housing; zoonoses; euthanasia criteria and release criteria.
Practical topics include: gavage; physical restraint; injections; physical examinations; weighing and limb immobilisation.   

arrow Click HERE to download Wildlife Course flyer


The two day course has been accredited by the Veterinary Council of Ireland
for 22 CVE credits




Programme Day 1 (8.30am - 5.30pm)


Pre Course homework; unit conversions, fluid therapy, rehab protocol








Registration & coffee
What is Wildlife Rehabilitation?
Intake & Admission
Capture & Restraint – safe handling is crucial
Stress – a very important issue, what it does and how we can mitigate it
Physical Exam – gathering information can be critical in your treatment plan
Fluid Therapy
Thermoregulatory Medical Problems
Head & Spinal Trauma Wound Management
Nutrition – taking the guess work out of your nutrition planning
Release Criteria
Round up, discussion & feedback

Programme Day 2 (8.30am - 5.30pm)


Registration & coffee
Skills and practical sessions;
capture and restraint
physical examination
injections in birds and mammals

Skills and practical sessions;
gavage for birds
avian wing wraps
wildlife first aid and rescue kit

IWRC multiple choice examination


  • Tina Swindle

Tina Swindle is an RCVS Qualified Veterinary Nurse. She holds a Certificate in advanced radiography from Cambridge Vet School, and has been Head Nurse and Clinical Manager in domestic and wildlife hospitals for over 15years.

Tina was born in Ireland but travelled to the UK to run her own veterinary referral animal physiotherapy clinic under the umbrella of the UK Medivet Veterinary Group.

Tina's personnel and animal management skills and her passionate interest in wildlife made her a natural staff choice for Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in the UK. Starting as Head Nurse for 4 years, her communication, administrative and teaching skills led her to the position of Clinical Manager for another 8 years. During this time Tina instigated and ran the UK's first in-house wildlife care NVQ course. She achieved an internal verifier qualification for the NVQ programme

Tina’s enthusiasm, empathy and eagerness to share her wildlife rehabilitation knowledge, combined with the intimate size of the group, accounts for the popularity of this IWRC Course.


Back to Top




IWRC flyer photos

NEXT COURSE - 7th & 8th November - FULL


FEES for the two day course:



Veterinary Surgeons (MVB) if claiming CVE credits

€485 (355 GBP)

Registered Veterinary Nurses if claiming CVE credits

€270 (200 GBP)

Students and anyone NOT claiming CVE credits

€175 (130 GBP)

Fee includes:
lunch (soup & sandwiches), morning and afternoon biscuits at coffee breaks,
delegate pack - magazines, brochures and wildlife information,
pre course homework and study guide,
WRI Certificate of attendance,
IWRC Certificate of achievement if you pass their exam!,
Minimum Standards of Wildlife Rehabilitation online pdf handbook,
the IWRC Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation Manual,
AND from this Course onwards - the
BSAVA Manual of Wildlife Casualties!!

min standards


IWRC manual

This conference has been accredited by the Veterinary Council of Ireland
for 22 CVE credits (11 per day)


Having difficulties with registration? Click HERE for instructions

Want to be notified of upcoming Courses? Click HERE to join our mailing list

Click HERE for Cancellation Policy




If the fees are preventing your attendance you can contact us to discuss grant assistance

We have been asked by potential donors how to obtain the greatest good for wildlife from financial donations.   Our belief at WRI is that educating people about the importance and practice of wildlife care has the greatest long term good.

If you would like to donate specifically to the Wildlife Course Grant Fund to help subsidise our Wildlife Courses for those of limited means, please click on the DONATE button below.


Many thanks to those of you that have already donated




Certificate in Wildlife Rehabilitation

The International Wildlife Rehabilitation’s Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation Course is an intensive and wonderfully engaging two day course that is geared towards wildlife rehabilitators, vets, students and wildlife enthusiasts. It is run by Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland (WRI); a not for profit organisation which exists to promote awareness of wildlife and wildlife rehabilitation in Ireland.

Tina lecture Tina lecture2

Irish wildlife is constantly facing challenges and WRI aims to provide useful information to the general public in order to improve animal welfare in Ireland. Unfortunately there is a lack of national capacity with regards to managing and protecting wildlife in Ireland and this science-based course is a step in the right direction in terms of equipping participants with both theoretical and practical knowledge on wildlife rescue and care.

hedgehog fluids swan fluids

Caring for wildlife differs greatly to caring for domestic animals and during the course you will be taught how to deal with mammals and birds of all sizes and behaviour. It is run by experienced and enthusiastic professionals; Tina Swindle is the instructor for the duration of the course. Tina is a RCVS qualified veterinary nurse and has been head nurse and clinical manager in domestic and wildlife hospitals for over 15 years. Tina teaches in an easy going, anecdotal way and makes scientific elements of the course easy to grasp. Her ardent passion for wildlife comes through strongly in her lectures which makes learning even more fulfilling and enjoyable.

gavage injections

Due to the small number of participants on the course, interaction with wildlife professionals and enthusiasts is part of the whole experience of the Course. Thus it not only provides you with invaluable knowledge but it also enables you to network with people within the wildlife sector which can lead to exciting opportunities in the future.

Injections2 Tina Injections

The IWRC Course is carefully designed to cater for people of varying abilities and experience; it is both introductory yet keeps you on your toes. The course instructors are there to assist you with any trouble you may have with the course content. Upon entering the lecture room, you are given a course handbook which thoroughly outlines everything you need to know about rehabilitating wildlife. This handbook is used in the open book examination that takes place at the end of the two days. The exam allows you to demonstrate what you have learned whilst simultaneously reinforcing your understanding through the process of revision. The course instructors are on hand to help you with any questions that you may have.

bandaging deer bandage

This accredited (Veterinary Council of Ireland) Course is scheduled multiple times throughout the year and takes place in the Pillo Hotel in Ashbourne, Co. Meath. Only 10 people are enrolled for each session and there is a waiting list so in order to ensure a place on this Course make sure you book well in advance. The applied nature of this Course makes it completely unique and will enhance credibility.

wing wrap wing wrap2

If you want to make a difference and help promote standardisation of wildlife care in Ireland then it is an invaluable Course to attend. If you are studying veterinary, the course will broaden your understanding of all animals; not just companion and farm animals. By the end of the two days, you will feel well-equipped and confident in knowing that you are carrying out wildlife rehabilitation procedures in the safest, most humane way possible.


Jade Dillon MA


Back to Top



The Pillo Hotel
The Rath
Ashbourne, County Meath, Ireland
Tel: 01 835 0800 within Ireland
From outside Ireland: 00 353 1 835 0800
Website: or click HERE


Driving directions:

From Dublin Airport:
From the airport follow signs for the M1 (Southbound) and the M50 (Southbound). Merge onto the M1 and stay in the left hand lane. After approximately 2km, take the slip road for the M50 (Southbound).
Stay on the motorway for 2 junctions, following signs for the N2, Ashbourne & Derry. Once you are on the N2/M2, after approximately 14km you will come to another roundabout where the hotel will be situated just off the 2nd exit.

From the M1 (Drogheda South junction):
Take the Drogheda / Duleek exit off the motorway and got through the toll booth on the slip road. At the roundabout at the top of the slip road take the 2nd exit signposted for Duleek. At the next roundabout take the 3rd exit towards Duleek / Ashbourne.
Go under the motorway and take the 2nd exit at the next roundabout, again signposted for Duleek / Ashbourne. Continue for 16km until you reach the junction with the N2. Turn left towards Ashbourne and travel along the N2 for approximately 8km until you reach a roundabout. At the roundabout take the first exit into the hotel.

Public Transport directions:

From Dublin airport:
Bus number 109A click HERE for timetable

Taxi from Dublin airport roughly €48 (each way)

From Dublin city:
Bus number 103 click HERE for timetable



The Residents Hotel
Bridge Street
Co Meath
Tel: 01 8359300

Archerstown Lodge B&B
Co Meath
Tel: 086 865 0257 or 01 8351084

Baltrasna Lodge
Co Meath
Tel: 01 8350446

Aisling Guest House,
Dublin Road,
Co. Meath
Tel: Rob / Kate on 01 835 0359 - will facilitate transport to the Pillo Hotel

Ashbourne House Hotel
Main Street
Co Meath
Tel: 01 835 8400
Email :





Comments from some delegates who have attended the Basic Wildlife Course

Course practical session

Course practical session

Course practical session

Course practical session2

Course practical session3

Course practical session5

Course practical session4




"Fantastic course and suitable for anyone waiting to pursue an interest in wildlife."

"Those giving the course were very helpful and friendly"

"A great refresher for experienced and a brilliant introduction for those new to the field."

"Great course thanks a lot guys"

"Excellent and suitable for any vet in practice"

"Brilliant Course. Really enjoyed it and definitely learned a lot. I will be doing courses with these guys again"

“Well worth doing, gives you the confidence to deal with wildlife casualties. Highly recommend it”

"This course gave me an opportunity to gain knowledge in a field of which I had little knowledge. The other courses and veterinary meetings which I had been attending to gain CVE points were providing me with little information I didn’t already know. This course vastly surpassed my expectation in the lectures, talks and practical demonstration giving me much increased knowledge of wildlife and best practice wildlife rehabilitation procedures."

“Excellent course, well planned out and everything is made basic. Very interesting and beneficial”

“Absolutely amazing, best money I’ve ever spent. Leaving full of confidence in treating any hedgehogs that come my way!”"This course is a perfect chance to become educated and gives confidence to help. It also helps build up a support network of organisations willing to take the casualty to the next level and hopefully rehabilitation. I would highly recommend this course to anyone with an interest in helping wildlife. It is delivered in an easy to understand way in a realxed and sometimes fun environment. This is a course not to be missed!"

"Wildlife needs our help more than ever, do this course and you will be more confident to give this help so much needed."

"Hopefully when I get a job in conservation biology and wildlife management the skills learned from this course will allow me to treat any minor injuries to wildlife in the area."

"I would love to be involved one day in wildlife conservation and just knowing that I have this course to help me along the way is great."

"A great introduction to basic 1st aid, brilliant for beginners and those with some experience in wild animal rehabilitation. I would recommend it to anyone looking to learn more"

"Highly recommend. Very informative for future and current rehabbers."

"I absolutely recommend this course to anyone working with wildlife. Excellent theory and practice all delivered in a fun and informative manner."

"Excellent and exceeded my expectations, would highly recommend"

"Brilliant course, learned a lot and got some hands on experience. Would recommend"

"Know your species: weigh weigh weigh is the only way"

"One of the best courses I have attended. If you want to learn how to rescue and rehab wildlife then do this course"

"Superb! Excellent course very informative and essential if working in the field or just interested in gaining knowledge"

"Brilliant course, well worth it!"

"A most informative and practical 2 days. Have learnt skills that will be useful in everyday life encounters with wildlife. Excellent facilitators and course content. A warm relaxed yet productive atmosphere. Thank You."

"Thoroughly enjoyed and learned great skills"

"Amazing course with a lot of helpful information. A great way to meet likeminded people"

"Fantastic weekend full of amazing tips and educating knowledge. Much enjoyed"

"Brilliant well worth doing"

"Anyone interested in wildlife should sign up for this course. Professional, educational, accredited. A lot of Fun!"

"I wish that more courses were as thorough and interesting as this one!"

"A superb course imparting vast amount of knowledge and information"

"I am glad to know more about all those beautiful creatures who make our wilderness alive"

"Educational, Practical & Fun!"




Donations Appreciated



news icon


Wildlife Rehabilitation

IWRC logo




Join our Mailing List
mailing list icon


Visit us on Facebook

mailing list icon