How to tame your dragon

Published Tuesday, 10th April 2018 in Study at SRUC news

Molly gillies
Molly Gillies with her two bearded dragons

Two Animal Care students from the Barony campus have reached the final of a UK-wide animal husbandry competition.

Organised by the Advanced Herpetological Husbandry (AHH) and The British Herpetological Society (BHS), colleges from across the UK running animal husbandry courses were invited to put forward no more than two candidates for consideration.

After an internal selection process within the college, Phoebe Cagle and Molly Gillies were chosen to go forward. The students submitted a two-page summary of their own work and study which was judged on knowledge, passion and commitment.

Both Phoebe and Molly were successful in reaching the final 10, and will travel to Drayton Manor later this month to attend the conference run by the AHH and BHS. There they will present their ideas in the form of a poster, alongside the other finalists.

Molly, who is currently on the National Certificate in Animal Care, said: “For my project I studied the effect of enrichment on the mental and dietary health of captive bearded dragons. I chose this topic as I have seen first hand with my own rescued bearded dragon how much enrichment can improve their mental health and quality of life.

“It is an important area of animal husbandry that is often forgotten about. I chose to study animal care as I have always been very passionate about working with animals while providing the highest standard of animal husbandry and improving animal welfare. After my NC course I aim to progress to HNC to further my skills.”

Phoebe, who will finish her HND in Animal Care in the summer, added: “This September I will be attending university at UWS in Paisley studying Applied Bioscience and Zoology, which will extend my knowledge of understanding animal conservation, behaviour and diversity. 

“By attending this event and showing my report findings through the opportunity of presenting a poster, I hope to convey my passion for reptile/amphibian welfare to other hobbyists.”

The conference includes a weekend of workshops, guest lecturers and technical presentations. The aim of the event is to provide encouragement to those embarking on a career in animal husbandry, in particular herpetology.

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