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International Animal Training Conference 2020

Sunday 20th – Wednesday 23rd September 2020

It’s back! Join us for the 5th International Animal Training Conference at Twycross Zoo. For professionals within the animal and zoo industry.

Featuring guest speakers, practical workshops and evening entertainment, this is an event not to be missed.

Please note this event is not suitable for the general public.

Book Online Here

Key Note Speakers NOW Announced

Introducing Dr. Susan G. Friedman

Dr. Susan G. Friedman is a retired psychology professor from Utah State University who has pioneered the application of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) to zoo and companion animals. ABA, with its roots in human learning, offers a scientifically sound teaching technology and ethical standard that can improve the lives of all learners. Students from over 45 countries have participated in Susan’s online course, Living and Learning with Animals for Professionals. She has been nominated for the Media Award given by the International Association of Behaviour Analysis for her efforts to disseminate to caregivers, veterinarians, animal trainers, and zookeepers the essential tools they need to empower and enrich the lives of the animals in their care.


Introducing Jim Mackie

Jim has worked at The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) for 20 years becoming the first Animal Training and Behaviour Officer in 2012. Jim has overseen a shift in animal management whereby positive, science-based, training techniques have largely replaced traditional methods such as restraint during medical and husbandry procedures. In 2015 ZSL was the recipient of a British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquaria (BIAZA) gold award for establishing a coherent, collection wide animal training programme for enhanced welfare. Jim helped form ZSL’s Behaviour Management Committees, with groups at both London and Whipsnade Zoos, and the BIAZA Animal Behaviour and Training Working Group, which he chairs. Jim is also a member of the EAZA Training Group and is an EAZA Academy instructor specialising in the use of trained behaviour to maximise welfare potential in zoos and aquaria.

Jim regularly lectures, presents and provides workshops about Zoo animal behaviour both at home and abroad and when he’s not working he lives in Epping with wife Jacqueline, daughter Francesca and a very well trained cat called Smudge.

Living and Learning with Animals Seminar

Sunday 20th September 2020

Living and Learning with Animals (LLA) is a seminar focused on the fundamental principles of learning and behaviour, and the behaviour change technology known as applied behaviour analysis. All animals change their behaviour due to experience i.e. they learn, which gives this course trans-species and interdisciplinary relevance to all professionals working with behaviour. Topics are presented with slides and illustrative videos and include the following: How Behaviour Works: Understanding and Misunderstanding Behaviour; The Significance of Science to Behaviour Consulting; Respondent and Operant Learning; Functional Assessment; The Commitment to Ethical Practice; The Case for Empowerment; Procedures for Changing Respondent Behaviour; Procedures for Changing Operant Behaviour; and, Designing Behaviour Change Plans.

As a result of attending this seminar, participants will be better able to teach learners effectively and humanely.


Submit before Sat 29th February 2020

If you would like to share your work at this conference, please let us know by sending your name, organisation and a short abstract of your presentation to We will be running presentations from 20/30 minute slots to shorter presentations of 10 minutes.

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