Halesowen College Technician Launches Association to Drive Industry Engagement and Best Practices


Joe Cooke, Animal Unit Manager at Halesowen College, has launched UK Animal Care Technicians (UKACT), an association dedicated to supporting animal care technicians in education facilities across the UK. The association will serve as a platform for technicians within the animal care sector to connect, exchange ideas, and collaborate to drive positive change across the industry.

UKACT’s vision is to connect staff from animal-based education facilities, to share information and best practice, for the purpose of improving husbandry standards and animal welfare, developing knowledge and skills and enhancing student experience. To meet this vision the association has three key objective areas, to allow this vision to be met; Animal Health and Welfare, Knowledge Exchange, Upskilling & CPD.

To promote best practices and standardisation, UKACT is producing a number of best practice guidelines, covering a number of topics. The association has already produced five of these, which have all been peer reviewed, covering Animal Health, Collection Planning, Licensing and Animal Acquisitions and Dispositions.

Joe has already organised annual conferences and workshops, covering a range of topics. The first UKACT conference was hosted by Halesowen College in 2021 and attracted 100 delegates from across the United Kingdom.

Joe Cooke said “By establishing UKACT, we aim to create a community of professionals dedicated to the advancement of animal care in education. Our Best Practice Guidelines and CPD opportunities will support our members to improve practices in their collection and ultimately providing the best learning experience for students.

“Halesowen College’s animal unit demonstrates the highest husbandry practices to its Animal Care Students and by creating this association, shows its commitment to further animal husbandry across the board.”

Posted: 1st February 2024

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