Veterinary surgeons in general practice are frequently presented with injured or orphaned animals by wildlife rescue centres, members of the public or police officers. Following treatment, many of these animals are released to the wild. Despite the large numbers of wildlife casualties rehabilitated in this way there are few published data detailing species, numbers treated, quality of care provided and outcome following release. There is also ongoing debate regarding the welfare and conservation benefits of such human intervention. This article reviews the available published evidence on wildlife rehabilitation and offers recommendations on future policy.