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Last week, University Centre Peterborough, in conjunction with Take Your Place, hosted its Animal Management Conference 2023. This conference gave Level 2 and Level 3 students from Stamford College and Peterborough College a taste of university life, having the chance to listen to talks from different professions within the industry.

The day kicked off with the university’s animal management course leader, John-Paul Oldham, giving an overview of everything our courses have to offer and the wider world of working with animals. This got the students thinking about the possible job opportunities they could have after completing an animal management course.

Throughout the day, the students were treated to lectures and activities from various different guest speakers. These included learning about the carnivores at Knowsley Safari from their senior carnivore keeper, the ins and outs of being a canine behaviourist, and virtual talks by representatives from the National Centre for Reptile Welfare and Crocodiles of the World. One of the talks, that was most enjoyed by the students, was on working with police dogs featuring some on the canine unit.

In this lecture, the students were able to meet a few furry members of the canine unit, as well as being treated to a demonstration of their work and how they are handled. This showcased how the canine unit works, and how different breeds of dogs are used for different aspects of policing. With demonstrations on how dogs are trained to bite, whilst others are trained to search for contraband in large or small spaces.

One of the final talks of the day came from a former student of the university, Nathan Scott, explaining his experiences working with animals all over the world. Highlighting adventures he had volunteering in Thailand at a wildlife sanctuary, where he had the opportunity to work with various wildlife, including orphaned gibbons and 17 elephants that had been rescued from the wildlife trade and the illegal logging industry in Myanmar.

The day was invaluable for the students and showcased the different avenues and job opportunities available within the industry, and how working with animals doesn’t have to be limited by specific jobs.

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