Bat Group


Q. I have found a bat - what should I do?
A. Telephone the National Bat Helpline on 0845 1300 228 (local rate). There is also a quick guide to helping a grounded bat here.

Q. Should I handle a grounded bat?
A. Yes, but only when following this guidance: get a safe container (like a shoe box with small holes in the lid), put a tea towel in it and use a barrier (gardening gloves or a tea towel) to very gently pick up the bat  and put it in the box - you may have to be quick with the lid, they are escape artists. If the bat is not contained, it is unlikely that a volunteer will come out to help as they have flown away before the carer reaches the bat on too many occasions! Bats can get through holes that are less than 1cm squared so make sure that the holes are large enough to allow air to circulate, but not too big!

Q. I've found a dead bat
A. Contact the Bat Conservation Trust on http://www.bats.org.uk/index.php or 0845 1300 228.

Q. Why focus on bats?

A. Because you have got to start somewhere!
When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. – John Muir
Once you start conserving and improving the habitat for bats you also help conserve other species. Take hedges - a hedge is used by bats for feeding and navigation, but it may also be used by birds and dormice for feeding and nesting.

Q. I am a vet with limited experience of treating and handling bats
A. Please follow this link for a PDF on basic bat care and recommended anesthetics. Also see the link above for care and treatment of a grounded bat. Also contact the Bat Conservation Trust.

Q. I've heard bats have rabies and I've heard bats carry EBLV virus
A. EBLV/rabies testing on dead bats is carried out by the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) in Surrey on behalf of Defra. This passive surveillance scheme has been running since 1987. The six UK bats, all Daubenton's, that have so far tested positive for live EBLV2 have been identified through this programme. It is vital that bats with live virus are identified so that any human or animal contact issues can be properly addressed; it is also important for furthering our knowledge of EBLV in UK bats. Submission of dead bats to the VLA is patchy across the UK with good numbers submitted from some areas, but few from others. While we would like to thank all those who have submitted bats so far, we do encourage everyone to continue to send any dead bats to the VLA as a matter of routine. So far this work show that the incidence of EBLV/rabies in Bristish bats is very low, however as a precaution anyone who is bitten while handling a bat should seek urgent medical advice. More info can be obtained on the Bat Conservation Trust web site.