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Talk about the Defence Animal Centre, Melton Mowbray

19 Mar 2014

We are delighted that Lieutenant Colonel Richard Pope, Commanding Officer of the Defence Animal Centre in Melton Mowbray, has agreed to come a talk about the work that goes on at the DAC on a day to day basis.

The DAC comprises four Squadrons which collectively provide the functions of Management and Policy, Animal Welfare, Veterinary Medicine, Equine and Canine Procurement and Innovative Training. These functions are interwoven and mutually support all activities at the DAC. The primary role is to train Military Working Animals (MWA) and personnel using skills and methodology developed over the last century.

The three functional Squadrons of the Defence Animal Centre are:

Canine Training Squadron - The Canine Training Squadron (CTS) is the largest Squadron within the DAC. The Squadron is “Joint” with about 60 Army personnel and 30 RAF personnel producing Military Working Dogs (MWD) and handlers for organisations across Defence. Dogs today are trained using positive reward, which means that all the dogs are essentially taking part in a game where they are rewarded when they get it right. The foundation of our training is relationship with the
dog, obedience, control of the dog and the reward of desired behaviour.

Equine Training Squadron - The Equine Training Squadron is responsible for the procurement of horses and pack animals for use on both public duties and the operational areas of Defence. The school is also responsible for the training and development of Military riding instructors and horse trainers across the Army. The Training standards and facilities are recognised worldwide as being of the highest quality. This recognition is supported by world renowned The British Horse Society (BHS) who licence some of training provided by the School.

The Army School of Farriery - The Army School of Farriery (ASF) is also part of Equine Training Squadron. The school is licensed by the Worshipful Company of Farriers and provides training for all Household Division and King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery Farriers. To become a farrier in the Army, soldiers must serve an approximate minimum time of 18 months at their parent unit. This is to gain valuable experience with the horses, become fully familiar with the way in which the unit operates and become qualified within the mounted trade.

Veterinary Training Squadron - This is the smallest Squadron at the DAC but it plays a hugely important part in everything that happens from the earliest stage of an animal’s military career and throughout its life. The dedicated team at the Squadron are available at all times to ensure that where it comes to the training and use of working animals, their welfare is always of the highest standard.


Cost £10 per person

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