Although it is always sad to hear of dead bats being found, bats are wild animals and are especially vulnerable in the first year of life.

How did the bat die?

It’s often difficult to know how exactly a bat has died, but you might find clues around the location it was found.

Domestic cats are a major predator of bats. Cats do not eat bats but they like to play with them, meaning the bat might die from their injuries or infection. Find more information about preventing cat attacks here.

Other threats to bats include sticky pest trap, road traffic, dehydration and starvation. Find out more about threats to bats and how you can help by clicking on the link.

Can I keep a dead bat?

Generally speaking, no you should not keep a dead bat. All bats in the UK are protected by law, which means you will need a special license from the Statutory Nature Conservation Organisation if you are to keep a dead bat lawfully. Some bat volunteers have a license and so are able to keep dead bats for education purposes.

We occasionally get reports of dead bats for sale. For information about this, please see our statement about taxidermy bats found here.

What should I do with a dead bat?

We support passive testing of dead bats by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), so we’d encourage you to request a Dead Bat Pack below, so it can be submitted.

Only bats that are physically intact and not in the late stages of decay should be submitted. To safely dispose of any other dead bats, and with no need to come into direct contact with it, we recommend you:

  • turn a bag inside out
  • then put the bag over your hand as if putting on a glove and carefully pick up the bat with it
  • use your other hand to fold the sides of the bag up and around the bat so that the bag is now the right side out
  • place this bag, which now contains the bat, into another bag
  • tightly tie or seal this second bag before placing it in the bin with domestic rubbish for landfill.