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All wildlife that has been found dead (with the exception of sea mammals, see below), can be reported to the DWHC. We are particularly interested in:
You can report your finding via the submission form on our website. You will receive a copy of your completed form by email as confirmation that your report has been sent.
After submitting your form you will be contacted by the DWHC who will advise you on how to package the cadaver and arrange collection of the package from your home or place of work.
For post-mortem investigation it is essential that the cadavers are in a fresh state i.e. not dead for more than one day; cadavers should not be frozen. It is therefore preferable to report your finding as soon as possible and to keep the cadaver in a cool (not frozen) place until it can be collected.
The DWHC assesses all reports and will contact you to determine whether or not the cadaver that you found is suitable for further investigation. This will depend on:
The rate of decomposition of a cadaver depends on a range of factors including the temperature and the species. In general, investigation of cause of death and reliable assessment of health status is only possible on cadavers that have not been dead for more than one day (24 hours).
In exceptional cases, for example outbreaks in rare species, we may accept cadavers for post-mortem investigation that have been dead longer than one day, but preferably less than one week.
In commonly occurring wildlife species extraordinary death can be:
Cadavers being prepared for collection by the DWHC courier should be double-packaged . Attach a print-out of the completed submission form (or a note with the species and your contact details) to the outer packaging; Extra information about handling and packaging the cadaver is available (in Dutch) here.
The DWHC works together with a courier service; after we have contacted you to determine whether or not the cadaver is suitable for further investigation we will arrange a suitable time and place for collection of the (double) packaged cadaver. The DWHC does not collect cadavers from the field.
You will not be charged anything for reporting or submitting a cadaver. The costs of the courier and post-mortem investigation are covered by the DWHC. During large-scale outbreaks or when forensic investigation is required other rules may apply.
You can report cadavers via the submission form on the website.
If you have questions mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can reach us by telephone Monday to Friday between 09.00 and 13.00 on 030 253 79 25. At other times your call will be transferred to a voicemail service which will ask you to leave your message and contact details so that we can call you back.
Most wildlife species are protected in the Netherlands, even if they are dead. This means that the possession, transport or offering for transport of these protected native species is considered illegal. The DWHC has an exemption in order to be able to accept wildlife cadavers for research purposes; we can send a temporary permit to you via text message so that you can handle and / or transport the wildlife cadaver in preparation for further investigation by the DWHC.
If you put food out for birds in your garden then follow this advice to minimize the risk of creating a source of disease infection.
Personal protective equipment
Disposable gloves should be worn when handling dead birds and when cleaning; wash your hands thoroughly afterwards, especially before eating or drinking.
If you suspect a case of a notifiable disease such as classic swine fever or foot and mouth diseae you should contact the NVWA (Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority) by calling 045 546 31 88. You will not be charged for reporting a suspect case. Cadavers should not be moved.
Translocation of wild animals includes the (re-) introduction or supplementing of wild animal populations. A permit is required for the translocation of live wild animals. This is detailed in Dutch policy (Kamerstuk 31200 XIV, nr. 215) and is included in National guidelines. The Netherlands is a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and therefore adheres to IUCN guidelines, including those referring to translocation / (re-) introduction of wild animals.