A group of current and past veterinary nursing students from Northumberland College’s Kirkley Hall Campus got an insight into much bigger animals than usual on a recent trip to South Africa.
The trip to Welgevonden Game Reserve Research Team in Waterberg, South Africa, consisted of a group of six veterinary nurses, tutor Stacey Bullock and other representatives from the college’s partner veterinary surgery Robson and Prescott.
They participated in a bespoke twelve-day course where they carried out all activities that are undertaken by the game reserve team.
The aim of the trip was to learn about conservation, wildlife and veterinary courses overseas and the treatment methods used. All of the group had to study a course manual prior to the visit.
Ethical issues of conservation and game keeping were explored, with appreciation of the comparisons to wildlife pharmaceuticals, species behaviour, pathology and rehabilitation in the UK.
The group were able to experience treatment of several animal species including elephants, lions, rhinos and cheetahs. They took grass biomass surveys, tracked cheetahs and looked at the growth of the cubs.
On their return, the students led a classroom debate utilising their experiences from the trip to explore the ethics topic of the course.
Tutor Stacey Bullock who joined the students on the trip said:
“The trip provided a broader perspective on ethics and animal welfare in relation to conservation.”
“It gave the group an appreciation of the contrasting worldwide use and control of familiar veterinary pharmaceuticals.”
Chloe Hallowell who is studying Level 3 Veterinary Nursing at the College’s Kirkley Hall Campus said:
“This was a mind opening experience on the ethics of animal management and veterinary intervention.”
“It was interesting to see how closely wildlife was linked to the domesticated patients we see daily.”
Northumberland College offer Level 2 and 3 Veterinary courses at their Kirkley Hall Campus. To find out more visit northumberland.ac.uk/subjects/animal-care-equine-and-veterinary-nursing