THE expertise of a college teaching team was used to deliver two weeks of specialist training to RSPCA trainees.
A teaching team from Winchester-based Sparsholt College – which is an associate college of the University of Portsmouth – provided training for 16 trainee officers on handling exotic animals, large farm animal handling and equine training.
The training was linked to a nationwide trend involving exotic animals in which many owners are taking them on but do not know how to look after them and the animals end up being rescued by the RSPCA.
Nicola White, exotics senior scientific officer at the RSPCA said: ‘Reptiles are increasing in popularity and the number of related incidents dealt with by the team has risen in recent years too. Sadly as their popularity increases so does the number of calls we receive about them and we are experiencing widespread neglect of reptiles across the country,
‘In response to this we have been training a number of officers to specialise in this particular area of animal welfare.’