2019 has been an exciting year for the EIT’s Centre for Veterinary Nursing. The student numbers have risen so the veterinary nursing team decided to increase the number of resident animals. With animal welfare being a priority, the animal facilities were revamped and enlarged.
“Our new animal room has allowed us to custom-build aviaries for our resident birds. We have also added larger kennels so we can house dogs from the same household together. This will reduce their stress levels, provide opportunities for companionship and allow them to interact normally with each other,” explains programme coordinator Hafiz Bakri.
Other changes include shade-sails over the rabbit enclosure to protect them from the sun. The rabbits also have new indoor-cages. They are made of puppy play-pens that are larger than the average cage and can house multiple rabbits. Communal living provides the rabbits (and also the guinea pigs) with opportunities for companionship and play.
Another reason for the increase of animal numbers and species has been the growing number of pet owners. “We want to promote responsible ownership and one welfare. An animal experiencing positive emotions will lead to having a happy pet and by implication a happy pet owner,” says Hafiz.
From February 2020 EIT’s Centre for Veterinary Nursing will offer a degree in Veterinary Nursing. With this new degree, the Centre will increase the number of species utilised for teaching while maintaining high standards of animal welfare. EIT has teamed up with Otago Polytechnic in the delivery of the programme. This allows anyone throughout New Zealand to complete an EIT branded Veterinary Nursing degree.