A D&A College Zoo Animal Behaviour and Welfare course has been celebrated at a showcase event held at the Scottish Parliament. Staff and students from Camperdown Wildlife Centre and D&A College attended the parliamentary reception at Holyrood highlighting innovation in the Scottish Further Education sector. The event was organised by Colleges Scotland hosted by Clare Adamson (MSP for Motherwell and Wishaw).
The event was attended by Chris Ditchburn (Curriculum & Quality Leader for Landbased and Animal Care), Kirsty Crouch (Lecturer in Animal Care), Bradly Yule (Conservation Networks Manager, Camperdown Wildlife Centre) and Alistair Aitken (Student Graduate of Zoo Animal Behaviour & Welfare course).
In partnership with Camperdown Wildlife Centre, the course is the only one of its kind in Scotland and teaches learners about the behaviour of wild animals. It also focusses on how animal welfare is protected in modern zoos and how to tell if an animal is well looked after. The course was selected for its delivery and design alongside cross-disciplinary teaching and partnerships with industry partners.
MSPs and organisers along with other delegates were very enthusiastic and keen to hear about the programme, especially the experiences of Alistair Aitken who completed the course in May and to hear about the successful partnership. Visitors to the stand were also intrigued to learn about progression opportunities and how the Wildlife Centre viewed the qualification when receiving job applications for keeper positions.
Going forward, D&A College hope to develop the course into a full time programme, exploring further aspects of zoo careers such as education, conservation and facility design.