The Pet Charity and Hadlow College have announced the development of a pioneering new centre of welfare excellence for reptiles and amphibians, based at Hadlow College in Kent.
The National Centre for Reptile Welfare (NCRW) will be the first centre of its kind in the UK and will provide refuge and care for reptiles and amphibians with the aim of finding ideal new homes for them. Reptiles will move into and out of the centre through an established logistics network, meaning that reptiles from anywhere in the UK can be rehomed through the new service.
The NCRW will be developed in partnership with the Pet Industry Federation and the Reptile & Exotic Pet Trade Association.
Tim Wass MBE, chair of The Pet Charity said: ‘Reptiles are now the fourth largest group of pet animals in the UK after dogs, cats and fish. As with the keeping of any animals, there is always a need for rehoming and rehabilitation.
‘The Pet Charity has a wonderful opportunity to pioneer this exciting new project and to be part of a solution which matches up new owners with unwanted reptiles. Being based at Hadlow College means that the NCRW will be uniquely placed to provide students from Hadlow College with first-hand experience of reptile husbandry and of being able to work and study in a live rehoming environment.
‘The project could not have got off the ground without the support of Hadlow College. Their vision and shared determination to see this ground-breaking project develop is integral to its success, and the trustees of The Pet Charity are grateful for their vital contribution.’
Chris Newman, trustee of The Pet Charity and project co-ordinator for the NCRW continued: ‘I have for many years felt that a centre which provides a re-homing service for reptiles is long overdue, and I am delighted to be in a position to see such a project come to fruition. Whilst rehoming is central to the NCRW’s existence, it will also provide a gold standard for reptile welfare, something which is fundamental to the project, given the centre’s partnership with educating the next generation of animal management graduates.’
The NCRW project will be introduced to the public at the Hadlow College lambing weekend on 11-12 March, and thereafter, the centre will be equipped ready for a full launch in the middle of 2017.
Further details will be available on The Pet Charity’s website www.thepetcharity.org.uk/ncrw