06 June 2019

Birds of a Feather: Guest Lecture and Industry Event

By Philip Orrell

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Our final year degree students in the Faculty of Animal Management recently received a guest lecture from Ellie Denniss from UK Owl and Raptor Displays, pictured above.

The lecture formed part of the students’ Current Issues for the Animal Sciences course, with Ellie speaking about good practice husbandry and welfare for keeping birds of prey.


Ellie is an alumnus of the College, having gained her degree on the BSc (Hons) in Animal Conservation & Biodiversity programme in 2017.

UK Owl and Raptor Displays specialises in the display and care of Birds of Prey, with services Industry Event 4 covering everything from educational school and group visits, wedding packages, media production, event demonstrations and even corporate days and team-building activities.

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Ellie also spoke about progressing from education to employment at our recent Faculty Industry Liaison Meeting (FILM) on the 24th April. These meetings invite employers in to help inform programme design and development across all provision.


A variety of guest speakers took to the lectern in the lecture theatre to address the assembled students and curriculum staff. ATDP Directors Joanne Bradshaw & Josefine Woodley spoke about the route to becoming an Animal Technician. This was followed by Steven Trim, Founder and Managing Director of Venomtech, the only commercial venom lab in the UK, which supplies venom to the pharmaceuticals industry, discussing opportunities in the industry.

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Ben Mann, Operations Director at Bruce’s Doggy Day Care, delivered a talk on interview preparation and joined his colleague, Deputy Site Manager Leilah Webb, for a talk entitled ‘From Class to Commerce’. Jo Hill, Partnership Officer from Medway Valley Countryside Partnership, discussed the skills required in the Industry and Chris Newman, Chief Executive of the Reptile and Exotic Pet Trade Association (REPTA) spoke about working with people in the animal industry. The day concluded with a roundtable discussion, followed by mock interviews conducted with industry leaders Cats Protection and Bell Equine.