This page provides links to a wide variety of guidance resources that will be of interest to all bat groups. If you have any questions about these pages please email email@example.com
- Rabies pre-exposure vaccination information - we have created a specific web page with details about pre-exposure vaccinations across the UK, with information for volunteers and professional bat workers.
- Good Practice Guidelines on Bats & Rabies (August 2020) - important information for bat groups (including local Helplines), these Guidelines set out important procedures that bat workers should follow. These have been updated to include changes to the way the Helpline handles rabies risk management enquiries. A summary document explains how the Helpline deals with rabies related calls and enquiries (March 2019). There is a separate document specifically about wearing gloves when handling bats (updated August 2020). We have also produced some additional guidance for rehabilitators - Supplement to Good Practice Guidelines for rehabilitators: Managing disease risk (updated August 2020). The Bats and rabies: Frequently asked questions for bat handlers (updated August 2020) may be useful in answering some of your questions. Finally Public Health England have produced a leaflet aimed at GPs and the public: Bat contact and rabies risk available to download from the GOV.UK website and Health Protection Scotland have produced their own version available from their website.
- IUCN Bat Steering Group (BSG) field work guidance on COVID-19 and bats (updated July 2021) - the IUCN BSG convened a global panel of experts to assess the risk of human to bat transmission and to develop appropriate mitigation strategies to protect bats. It is the opinion of the panel that there is a credible risk of human-to-bat transmission of SARS-CoV-2 , but this risk can be reduced using appropriate mitigation strategies. We also published a special edition bulletin on COVID-19 aimed at bat groups in July 2021.
- COVID-19 and interacting with wildlife for the purposes surveying and mitigation works (updated August 2021) - Natural England issued guidance from Defra covering field work, including entering bat roosts and handling bats.
- IUCN Bat Steering Group (BSG) guidance on COVID-19 and bats for cavers (updated December 2021)
- You can find the latest guidance from the IUCN BSG on this webpage, along with helpful infographics.
The above guidelines apply to bat care as well, but the below guidance is bat care specific.
- Bat Care Guidelines - the second edition of the Bat Care Guidelines is now available (you just need to provide a few details about yourself) and printed copies have been sent to all bat carers on the BCT at Care Network.
- Mealworm Allergy Information for Bat Carers - It has been shown that some people who work with insects such as mealworms can develop allergic reactions. This document provides information and good practice guidance for bat carers on how to reduce that risk.
- COVID-19 Good Practice Guidelines for Bat Rehabilitators: Managing Disease Risk - This guidance is in the process of being updated and the revised version should be available soon. In the meantime please refer to the IUCN BSG recommendations for bat rehabilitators (updated June 2021) as this provides important information for bat carers with guidance for managing disease risks from the perspectives of both human and bat health. (It does not replace the existing guidance on rabies risk management
- We also published a special edition bat care bulletin blog on COVID-19 in July 2021.