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Hadlow College Partners With Leading Animal Organisations for Degree Programme Enhancement

Posted on 28th July 2017 in Animal Management, HE News, Higher Education

Two exciting developments are taking place this summer within the Animal Management faculty at Hadlow College, which will directly benefit our undergraduate students starting this September.

In recognition of the ever-changing industry and the growth in the companion animal sector, Hadlow has partnered with the Centre of Applied Pet Ethology (COAPE). The partnership will see Dr Robert Falconer-Taylor and Professor Peter Neville, both recognised animal behaviour experts, contributing to the College’s successful animal behaviour degree programmes with lectures and tutorial support.

Commenting on this, Professor Neville said “As a largely unregulated sector, successful animal behaviourists rely on high quality education and opportunities for further development.  Since COAPE was established 25 years ago we have delivered a range of accredited and regulated qualifications and training courses to degree level that have fulfilled this.  To now be partnered with Hadlow, a recognised expert in land-based teaching with a proven track record in animal studies, will allow us to develop these qualifications even further and ensure those that operate within the sector are as professionally skilled as they can be.”

Additionally, the department will be launching a National Centre for Reptile Welfare in collaboration with The Pet Charity, a national charity which promotes the benefits of pet ownership. The centre is being developed in partnership with the Reptile & Exotic Pet Trade Association. A UK first, it will operate as a centre for welfare excellence and provide refuge and care for unwanted and vulnerable reptiles and amphibians, rehoming them through a national network of retailers and wholesalers.

Located at the College, close to its existing animal management facilities, it will also provide degree-level students with practical husbandry, care and non-invasive behavioural and husbandry research opportunities on a wide range of captive species, as well as access to recognised animal welfare and husbandry experts Tim Wass MBE and Chris Newman.

Tim Wass MBE, Chairman of The Pet Charity, said “Exotic animals are growing in popularity as pets within the UK, with legislation around their care and sale struggling to keep abreast of the changes. There are, for example, few formal educational opportunities and limited specialists. This centre will fill a gap in the sector, offer the highest standards of welfare for rescued animals and contribute to training the next generation of managers and specialists in animal welfare.”

Jessica Berry, Head of Faculty for Animal Management at Hadlow College, added “The developments which we are making to our undergraduate qualifications this summer will provide students with some amazing opportunities from September.  With leading industry experts lecturing on the programmes, new facilities for practical handling and husbandry, and additional research opportunities, our programmes continue to provide real-life experiences and increase students’ career prospects.”

About Professor Peter Neville

Professor Peter Neville is an animal behaviourist who has been in practice for the referral and treatment of behaviour problems in cats and dogs for nearly 30 years. He established the first pet behaviour referral clinic at a UK Veterinary School at the Dept of Veterinary Medicine, Bristol in 1990, was subsequently appointed Clinical Professor in Animal Behaviour at the Dept of Veterinary Medicine, University of Miyazaki, Japan from 2008-11, and has been an Adjunct Full Professor in the Dept of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University, USA from 2009 – present.

Peter is a founding Partner of COAPE (founded in 1993), is a partner in COAPE South Africa and is a lecturer and speaker in high demand at veterinary, behaviour and training meetings around the world.  He is the author of the internationally best-selling books 'Do Cats Need Shrinks?' and 'Do Dogs Need Shrinks?' and author/co-author of 15 other books, and writes every month in the leading UK pet magazines Dogs Today and Your Cat. Peter is a frequent media broadcaster; recent UK TV appearances have included three seasons on Channel 5 as the resident behaviour expert on the hugely and now internationally popular 'Cats/Dogs/ Puppies/Kittens/Birds/Wild Animals make you LOL' shows, which take a light hearted look at pet and wild animal behaviour film clips sourced from the internet.

Peter is a UK organiser and often the resident behaviourist on bespoke African safaris run throughout southern Africa with top naturalist, writer and tour guide Andrew Rae of Rae Safaris, based in Johannesburg. 

About Dr. Robert Falconer-Taylor BVetMed DipCABT MRCVS

Robert is veterinary director and head of education of the Centre of Applied Pet Ethology (COAPE), the first organisation in the UK to develop government-regulated courses to degree level specifically in companion animal behaviour and training. COAPE also developed the renowned EMRA system used by behaviourists and trainers all over the world, now summarised in their book – EMRA Intelligence: The revolutionary new approach to treating behaviour problems in dogs.

Robert teaches and consults around the world along with writing for the veterinary and other professional press. He is also author of the informative COAPE Blog, published on their website, which has been taken up and endorsed by many training and behaviour organisations all over the world. He is also veterinary director of COAPE Poland.

Robert is an international consultant to the pet industry where he is engaged in the on-going development and risk assessment of pet ‘toys’ targeted specifically at promoting the welfare of pets and their relationships with their owners. He was also actively involved in the development of the ‘The Puppy Plan’, first launched in February 2012 and updated in 2014, a collaboration between Dogs Trust and the Kennel Club. He is also a member of the International Cat Care Behavioural Advisory Panel.

Robert’s primary academic interests include companion animal cognitive science and emotionality, nutrition and its effects on behaviour, and applied neurophysiology, pharmacology and therapeutics in companion animal behaviour therapy. He promotes the idea wherever and whenever he can that “The key to better animal welfare is through education and better understanding of the rich emotional lives our pets share with us”.

About Tim Wass MBE

Formerly Chief Officer Inspectorate, Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (2008 - 2010).

Tim Wass joined the RSPCA from the RAF in 1988. As a field operative, he specialised in illegal dog fighting and related investigations before being promoted to lead the Inspectorate team in SE London.

Tim was promoted to Superintendent for East Anglia and the Midlands responsible for a large, geographically dispersed animal welfare team. He was responsible for the delivery of regional animal welfare services to the high standards set by the Society. This role entailed acting as the RSPCA's representive and spokesperson for the media and other groups.

In 2001, 2007 and 2008, Tim designed and led the RSPCA’s response to the Foot and Mouth Disease, Avian Influenza and Seal Distemper Virus outbreaks. During each outbreak Tim was seconded to Defra to represent the RSPCA within the National Disease Control Centre.

In 2004 Tim was awarded the MBE for services to animal health and welfare.

Whilst Superintendent, Tim specialised in Animal Welfare operations and delivery becoming the RSPCA's lead officer at tactical level for all national emergencies where the RSPCA was active. In addition to the outbreaks mentioned above, he managed the operational response to the floods in 2007 and 2009.

Tim's knowledge and experience of animal welfare together with his ability to articulate at all levels ensured that he became the RSPCA's national spokesperson in 2006. Responsibilities included the management of media matters on behalf of the Society and acting as a lobbyist at local and national government.

In 2007 he was seconded to the Hong Kong SPCA to review their structure and service delivery.

In 2008 Tim was appointed to the post of Chief Officer. He became the “face” of the RSPCA through the award winning fundraising initiative “the biggest animal rescue ever”. He is an accomplished and effective communicator with many years’ experience working with, and appearing in the national media.

Tim now works as an Independent Animal Welfare Consultant. His reputation for innovation, problem solving and initiative within the sector is well earned and respected.

About Chris Newman

Chris Newman is currently the Chair of the Federation of British Herpetologists and the European Union Association of Reptile Keepers and has been the chief executive for the Reptile & Exotic Pet Trade Association since 2005. Chris has vast experience with reptile keeping, with knowledge covering over 250 species - and also numerous non-reptilian species. His current work includes working to improve animal welfare and he is a passionate advocate that both humans and animals benefit from good animal husbandry and the keeping of animals as companions. Chris was involved with the drafting of the Animal Welfare Act, chairing the government working group on pet fairs and sitting on the working groups looking at pet vending and defining welfare. He is also directly involved with many other governmental working groups and legislative reviews, such as the Dangerous Wild Animals Act, CITES & Non-Native Species Strategy and sat on the working group producing the new Model Licence Conditions for Pet Shops.

He has also acted in an advisory capacity for HM Customs and Excise, the police and local authorities. He has had numerous articles and papers published in journals and magazines, as well as authoring several books on the subject of reptiles. 


COAPE was established in 1993 to provide benchmark education courses, training, and professional development for anyone interested in studying companion animal behaviour and therapy, and has now grown to offer the finest professional study and career pathway for anyone wishing to practise as a pet behaviour therapist.
COAPE offers a range of state-of-the-art distance learning and residential courses taught by internationally recognised academic and practical tutors. Some COAPE courses lead to Regulated Qualifications. These qualifications are accredited through CERTA and are listed on the Qualification and Credit Framework, and regulated by Ofqual.

At COAPE we now offer the first dedicated, properly regulated and independently accredited study and professional training programme in companion animal behaviour and behaviour therapy. This will enable you to work towards a nationally recognised qualification and help prepare you properly to pursue a successful career in this highly rewarding field. 

About the Pet Charity

The Pet Charity exists to spread awareness about the benefits of pet ownership and to increase pet welfare through education and research. The Charity runs campaigns such as Pets in Schools, encouraging children to learn about the responsibilities involved in pet care and helping teachers to fund a classroom pet through a voucher-based scheme. Alongside this, the organisation commissions research projects, which inform their campaigns and media work too.

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