Record numbers of new student registrations, and a continued growth in qualified and registered veterinary medicines advisors, across the farm-animal sector, has been announced by regulatory body AMTRA (Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority).
AMTRA SQPs (Suitably Qualified Persons) play a vital role, alongside vets and farmers, in improving the health and performance of flocks and herds, and in doing do so improving efficiency and cost effectiveness, ultimately meaning farmers are more profitable.
The results, matched also across the equine and companion animal sectors, demonstrate the importance AMTRA SQP registered premises and retailers are now placing on employing in-house, professional veterinary medicines advisors.
“Business investment in registered veterinary medicines advisors continues to grow,” explains Stephen Dawson, secretary general of AMTRA. “We have seen 368 new student AMTRA SQPs enrol in the first quarter of 2019. This is the highest quarterly figure for eight years.”
The new student AMTRA SQPs, once qualified, are leading to a continued growth in the overall number of qualified AMTRA SQPs, with record numbers in agricultural stores and veterinary practices.
“We are equally encouraged by the continued growth in overall qualified AMTRA SQP numbers,” says Mr Dawson. “We have now reached above 2500 farm SQPs, a significant increase when you consider we had just 1500, only ten years ago.”
AMTRA has developed a syllabus and CPD that is relevant, robust and yet responsive to changing demands. Working with educational partner Harper Adams University, AMTRA offers a flexible qualification process across a wide range of exam centres.
Holding AMTRA SQP qualified status demonstrates to farmers and others involved in the purchase and supply of veterinary medicines that they are dealing with a registered professional, with the ability to advise, prescribe and supply medicines for the best treatment for that animal, herd or flock.
“Underlining their role as veterinary medicines advisors supports the rigorous qualifications AMTRA SQPs hold, promotes the fact they are qualified professionals, and will raise awareness of the skills and advice they can offer,” adds Mr Dawson. “Ultimately, this will also bring tangible benefits to the business in which the AMTRA SQP operates, as well as the farmer.”