Support continues to grow across the animal health sector for a move to better reflect and recognise the crucial role of registered professionals qualified to prescribe and supply animal medicines, by formally changing the title for these qualified individuals to Registered Animal Medicines Advisors (RAMAs).

In an initiative driven by regulatory body AMTRA to change the official title fro...


Demand strong for the next available assessment dates: With the first two blocks of AMTRA’s online written assessments for Registered Animal Medicines Advisor (RAMA/SQP) qualifications successfully undertaken in January and March, the regulatory body is looking ahead to the April assessments where even more candidates have booked their assessments.

The Animal Medicines T...


As February has reminded us, the weather in early spring can fluctuate from extreme cold to warm sunshine within a few days. A cold snap followed by rapid warming can result in a sudden and significant challenge to young lambs, as nematodirus larvae hatch in large numbers.

The delivery of an important free-of-charge service from SCOPS this spring to help sheep farmers monitor t...


Experts from the Control of Worms Sustainably (COWS) group are urging dairy and suckler beef producers with autumn-born calves, to think carefully about their worm control programme this spring. Testing and treating calves only when needed might be a better way forward than using traditional routine worming programmes, which can select for resistance.

“This has been an odd wint...


A diverse base of retail outlets, merchants and animal healthcare practices are recognising the commercial benefits of investing in Registered Animal Medicines Advisors (RAMAs), according to the latest renewal figures from the Animals Medicines Training Regulatory Authority (AMTRA).

AMTRA RAMAs are legally entitled to prescribe and/or supply certain veterinary medicines under t...


Assessments for Registered Animals Medicines Advisor (RAMA/SQP) qualifications in both written and verbal formats have been moved online for the remainder of the 2020-21 academic year, the Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority (AMTRA) has announced today.

Primarily driven...


Robert Smith, director at Farm First Vets, Abergavenny and a member of the Control of Worms Sustainably (COWS) steering group, urges farmers to consider the effect treatments they give for internal parasites at housing might also be having on skin parasites.

“Most cattle producers apply a pour-on macrocyclic lactone (ML) anthelmintic at, or just after...


Pets at Home York store manager Stella Kendall elected to council of national regulatory body, AMTRA

In a career that has gone full-circle, with plenty of milestones along the way, the latest highlight for Stella Kendall, manager of Pets at Home’s York store, has seen her elected on to the council of the regulatory body for animal medicines advisors, AMTRA.

Stella has been a ...


Local registered animal medicines advisor elected to council of national regulatory body

As we have adjusted to life in lockdown, there is one constant comfort that many are relying on, the unconditional love and companionship of pets, at a time when most of us are spending more time than ever at home, in ‘their domain’!

But, havi...


Meet your Registered Animal Medicines Advisor (RAMA) – Wynnstay’s Sarah Brooks

A Welsh hill farmer’s daughter from the Brecon Beacons, Sarah Brooks has always had a great affinity for the countryside and a passion for rural affairs, and this has translated into a successful career that sees her at the forefront of animal healthcare and helping farmers achieve better performance...


For somebody used to being on the ‘front-line’, the lockdown period has presented a whole new set of challenges for national-award-winning and Essex-based animal medicines advisor, Dom Whiten. For her, and her fellow animal health professionals, the health and welfare of our local pets and companion animals remains a priority during these challenging times.

Combining her time as practice ...


Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is compulsory for all AMTRA RAMAs (Registered Animal Medicines Advisors/SQPs). CPD helps RAMAs keep themselves up to date, which is appropriate to a professional group of animal medicine advisors. Additionally, AMTRA is required by law to ensure that those on the AMTRA Register undertake CPD.



Changing practice may be the best way

As fluke risk can vary considerably from year to year, between regions and even between neighbouring farms, every farm needs to be considered individually. We strongly advise RAMAs and Veterinarians to recommend diagnostic testing for liver fluke before treating. This will allow you to tailor the best control advice to each farm, which product ...


New MAs and changes made and published to end of July 2020

The points below highlight changes in marketing authorisations (MAs) that may have a significant impact on veterinary surgeons’ prescribing decisions.

New marketing authorisations

New marketing authorisations relevant to veterinary surgeons in the UK that were issued or published in July are listed in Tab...


AMTRA is pleased to advise that exams are now available for booking once again.

Feedback suggests some individuals and businesses are now keen to return to the opportunity to take exams. A range of measures have been adopted to ensure that the exams can proceed safely. Candidates will be required to acknowledge and accept the adapted measures.



OvertheCounter has been working with AMTRA from the very beginning of the CPD requirement, and continues to offer a wide range of CPD for all RAMAs, with several new modules in each issue of the magazine. Doing those that are relevant to you in each issue provides a good foundation and over the two-year CPD period will get you a long way towards meeting your minimum point target.

In addit...


Professionals were already turning to online CPD in growing numbers before Covid – we’ve witnessed a 75% fall in attendance at the AMTRA/AHDA roadshows, for instance. Covid is thus accelerating an existing trend.

Read More


AMTRA exams

The first AMTRA exam since the Covid-associated cancellations takes place on 12 August with special provisions. More details

The normal 24-month window to sit any exams without additional charge will be extended.

We hope and expect that further exams will be scheduled soon once the...


In the context of the Covid-19 situation, AMTRA has decided to cancel AMTRA exams at Greenmount on 1/2 July, LANTA/Stoneleigh Park on 7 July, and Writtle on 8/9 July.

We’re sorry that circumstances mean we have to let RAMAs down when everyone has worked so hard towards gaining their qualification.

At the present time we are continuing to explore whether we can run the exam at...


Four new animal medicines advisor representatives elected on to AMTRA council following online and postal ballot

Four new Registered Animal Medicines Advisor (RAMA) representatives and one returning member have taken their seat on the AMTRA council following the online and postal ballot earlier this year. Sarah Brooks, Stella Kendall, Dawn Prime and Cara Baillie join Andrew Pattiso...


In addition to the change to allow remote prescribing and authorisation of supply, communicated last week, VMD have also advised that, effective immediately, and until at least 31 May 2020, there are two further changes to enforcement policy.

First, a RAMA/SQP will be allowed to supply veterinary medicines from temporary premises when access to the currently authorised SQP retailer premis...


AMTRA has welcomed an important change in enforcement policy from VMD in the light of the Covid-19 epidemic.

As you will be aware, the normal obligations on you as a RAMA (SQP) under the Veterinary Medicines Regulations and the associated Code of Practice are that when a POM-VPS or NFA-VPS product is supplied, you must:

a. hand over or despatch the product personally; or

b. en...


AMTRA exams

All AMTRA exams until mid-July have been cancelled. We will keep the situation under review for subsequent exams.

For the avoidance of doubt, if we do have to cancel exams, then the normal 24-month window to sit any exams without additional charge will be extended.

We will let people booked on those exams know as soon as a decision is reached. Further exams ...


Businesses permitted to stay open

The Regulations which came into force at 1pm on Thursday (26th March) exempt “pet shops”, “agricultural supplies shop”, and “veterinary surgeons” from the general closure instructions to retail stores, and these types of retail stores may stay open.

There is no re...


Farmers and animal health-care professionals are being warned to avoid stockpiling of prescription-only animal medicines, and AMTRA warns it is both illegal and counter-productive.

Amid isolated reports of some encouragement being made to farmers to stock up in the light of the developing coronavirus situation, AMTRA has highlighted the potential dangers to animal health and welfare, whil...


Equine and farm animal medicines advisor qualification formally moves to Level 5

A broadening of the syllabus and deepening of the assessment for AMTRA registered animal medicines advisors, also known as SQPs, has seen the formal move to Level 5 qualifications from February 2020.

The move, in conjunction with key training partner Harper Adams University, further reinforces th...


AMTRA announces 2020 Industry Award Winners

The country’s leading new registered animal medicines advisors (also known as SQPs) were recognised at a lavish awards ceremony during the annual AHDA conference, as the AMTRA Awards winners were announced at the Hilton Metropole Hotel at Birmingham’s NEC on Wednesday 15th January.

The winners have been named as Stephanie Batehup of...


You may have had your fill of elections for the moment, but perhaps now it’s your turn to make your voice heard more directly. 

The AMTRA Council advises the AMTRA Board and secretariat on a range of issues that impact you as SQPs/Registered Animal Medicines Advisors (RAMAs), and to make sure your voice is heard we have a number of your representatives on Council.

Could one ...


Liver Fluke Treatments for Cattle and Sheep – Rafoxanide is not an appropriate alternative to closantel.

SCOPS and COWS have together issued a statement that has AMTRA’s support. It is useful background knowledge for SQPs who may encounter farmers asking about ...


AMTRA has issued a clarification and reminder of what is expected of its SQPs, including during the examination process (written and oral).

AMTRA SQPs may supply products in the distribution categories POM-VPS, NFA-VPS and AVM-GSL, consistent with the species modules held as part of their personal AMTRA registration.

Almost all farm-animal and horse medicines are prescription-only a...


Record increases as businesses invest in registered veterinary medicines advisors

Record numbers of new student registrations, and a continued growth in qualified AMTRA SQP numbers across farm, equine and pet sectors, has been announced by regulatory body AMTRA. The figures include the second-highest intake of new student AMTRA SQPs ever, in a single quarter.

The results, ann...


More than 1000 respondents rate the high standards and support, resonating through to profitability benefits and resistance awareness

A survey conducted which produced responses from over 1000 AMTRA SQPs, reveals that the regulatory body AMTRA (Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority) is both demonstrating its value to SQPs, but also highlighting the profitability benefits o...


Sammy Stenton followed quite a different career path before joining Carrs Billington in 2017, becoming an AMTRA SQP by December 2018. Sammy was named as the top R-SQP student of the year (all-species), during the AMTRA awards at the AHDA Conference 2019.

Q. What inspired you to qualify as an AMTRA SQP and follow a career as an animal medicines advisor?

My father is a sheep-fa...


Having completed a second Mystery Shopper exercise following the pilot project in 2016, AMTRA are encouraged by early results from the comprehensive survey into in the in-house performance of AMTRA SQPs, while recognising there is still room for improvement across all distribution channels.

The Phase II study, to assess AMTRA SQP performance in-store at the point of product purchase, invo...


It is that one time of year when nearly all routine goes out of the window, but the family member that won’t be expecting change over the Christmas and New Year festivities, will be your companion animal, pet or horse.

To avoid causing distress to pets, and reduce risks of illness and injury, animal medicines advisors are providing a few handy tips to help you and your companion enjoy a s...


AMTRA SQPs have the perfect opportunity to top up their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points next summer, as AMTRA and AHDA announce the dates for the 2019 CPD roadshow. Taking place from May until the end of June 2019, the CPD roadshow will take in 12 venues throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“We are now well in to the second half of the CPD period, and...


Horse owners and livery yards are being advised to bring their horse’s passport when purchasing animal medicines such as wormers. This follows a horse medicines guidance update from the VMD (Veterinary Medicines Directorate) which says that prescribers should ask to see the passport.

Stephen Dawson, secretary general of AMTRA, the regulatory authority representing some 7,000 AMTRA SQPs, r...


It’s not just cats and dogs that can suffer, warn animal medicines advisors

Companion animal and horse owners are being advised to take sensible precautions as we head towards Bonfire Night, and other upcoming festive firework celebrations.

“Bonfire Night is obviously a focus,” explains animal medicines advisor Sharon Groves, owner of Isle of Wight pet store Pets with Hart, “...


AMTRA SQPs play a vital role in health, welfare and performance of sheep flocks in UK

Year-round access to British lamb, and farmer pressures on improved performance and profitability, means the role of animal medicines advisors, has never been more important.

The Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority (AMTRA) is the professional regulator for AMTRA Suitably Qualified Person...


As the early summer sun finally starts to brighten up the days after a long and wet spring, pet owners are being urged to take a few simple precautions to make sure companion animals can enjoy the season too.

The warmer weather not only encourages more of us to venture into the great outdoors, but also brings out some more unwelcome visitors, such as ticks and fleas. During the warm summe...


As the summer sun finally arrives, animal medicines advisors are urging all pet owners to take extra precautions to help avoid common problems over the warmer months.

SQPs, or Suitably Qualified Persons, are advising all animal owners to keep on top of worming treatments, particularly those with puppies and kittens.

Sharon Groves, owner of Pets with Hart on the Isle of Wight,...


Qualified animal medicine advisors an important prescribing channel in farm helminth control

Strengthening relations with farmers and broadening the skill levels for animal medicines advisors was the catalyst behind a revision to the farm-SQP (Suitably Qualified Person) syllabus and exam, introduced by AMTRA, the Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority.

The updates pre...


Face to face contact still viewed as crucial in interaction between animal owner and prescriber

Encouraging findings from a VMD funded research project reveal that along with veterinary surgeons, SQPs are fulfilling a valuable and effective role in both farm and equine helminth control, while highlighting areas for improvement to deliver best practice and improve animal health and ...


Changes to syllabus reflects recent research findings and is set to strengthen farm-SQPs role

Strengthening relations with farmers and broadening the skill levels for SQPs has been the catalyst behind a revision to the farm-SQP syllabus and exam, announced by AMTRA earlier this year.

The changes are designed not only to increase significantly the depth of farm SQPs’ knowledge...


Over the last year AMTRA has been embracing an on-going campaign geared towards farmers, the companion animal industry and the equine sector to raise awareness of the role of the SQP, and the qualified advice and expertise the SQP can provide ahead of and during the supply and prescription of animal medicines.

But what is AMTRA? What does it do, who does it represent, how is it regulated ...


Independent regulatory authority AMTRA is launching a new campaign to raise the professional and public profile of SQPs.

With over 6000 SQPs (Suitably Qualified Persons) working across the companion animal, farming and equine sectors, these qualified professionals offer free and impartial advice on issues such as resistance, responsible use and improved health.

The campaign – to be ...


Sheep farmers are being encouraged to get advice from their SQP (Suitably Qualified Person) on new SCOPS (Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep) quarantine guidelines.

“The reasons for quarantine treating sheep have not changed,” says sheep vet, Kate Hovers, who has been involved in the training of SQPs in implementing the new guidelines, “but farmers now have a wider range of options...


Dorset SQP, Peter Barker of Barkers Animal Health in Wimborne, has been sent a Letter of Warning by the AMTRA Board after serious concerns were raised about the information contained in a brochure he produced for customers.

“A complaint was received by AMTRA regarding Peter Barker which was examined by the Professional Standards Committee,” explains Stephen Dawson, Secretary General of AM...