Personal statement:

I have been involved in the humane disposal of animals for over 15 years. My first experiences of this industry were gained whilst working on a dairy farm which also had a stud and livery yard. During this time, I witnessed practices which suggested a severe lack of concern for the animals.


I have always loved animals, but recognise that sometimes the the proper care of an animal requires that it be euthanized. I felt very strongly that whilst this intervention may be necessary, there is no excuse for negating the welfare of the animal int its final moments. So I decided to get myself properly trained and licensed. 


I have a form of Autism called Asperger’s Syndrome. This means that whilst I may struggle with some types of social interaction, it also gives me some advantages. My condition gives me a very particular perspective on life which gives rise to a greater affinity with the animals; an ability to see things from there point of view, if you will. Using this perspective I have designed several handling pens and done a lot of work in handling and slaughtering facilities for difficult species such as the semi-feral Dartmoor pony.


Euthanasia and animal slaughter techniques are a subject of constant study for me, with the aim to improve animal welfare wherever possible. Long term, I plan to construct my own facility to provide the best type of handling to improve the humane disposal process for all animals, but with particular emphasis on semi-feral types.


When the time comes, many animals will become frightened and fight if improperly restrained. In cases where more than one animal is to be disposed of, the consequences of witnessing this should be obvious. In managing these final moments, my primary goal is to ensure that all potential sources of distress are eliminated. This ensures that the animals I put down know nothing about what is to happen, that in all cases the animal meets an instant, painless end.


In this unpleasant work, perhaps what provides the greatest satisfaction is being able to share my knowledge with others. From time to time I have the privilege of teaching humane disposal techniques to others. On a number of occasions I have been accompanied by future veterinary and equine studies students seeking practical work experience. for me it is an opportunity to ensure that what I have found to be best practice in the interests of animal welfare is passed on to future practitioners. for the students, this represents an invaluable introduction to the world they intend to enter following graduation.


In the course of my practice and training I have acquired a comprehensive knowledge of firearms. As a consequence I am licensed as a Marksman to deal with wild and dangerous animals and have been called upon by the police to assist in a number of emergency situations. I have recently obtained my license to use a Dart Gun meaning that I now have the ability to tranquilize animals that are difficult to handle; animals which otherwise may have to have been shot. 


I have always had a fascination with investigating the causes of death and circumstances which give rise to the need for euthanasia. My knowledge of anatomy allows me to perform a Post Mortem examination if required by an owner or Vet.


I enjoy teaching animal anatomy and have built a viewing room within the Carcass Processing area which I constructed at Dartmoor Zoo, Plymouth. This facility has proven very popular with schools, colleges and the general public. It enables me to show in detail, how the body works and also a few of the things that can go wrong.


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