This sector is booming amid economic uncertainty.

Qualified providers of animal medicines and advice are in demand – with equine and pet topping the list. 

The most in four years have renewed their places on the Defra approved register of animal health advisors, with the equine and pet category seeing its highest ever rates.

It’s an optimistic indication of the commercial value, jobs and business opportunities within the sector, says AMTRA, the regulatory body that trains Registered Animal Medicines Advisors (RAMAs)

RAMAs (also known as SQPs) work in retail outlets, merchants and animal healthcare practices. They are legally entitled to prescribe and/or supply certain veterinary medicines such as equine wormers and pet flea and tick products. 

Across all categories, 93% of RAMAs have renewed the qualification despite uncertain times due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Prized asset”

AMTRA has reminded RAMAs that their qualification and status is their own, even though the training may have been supported by an employer.

“In the uncertain period the pandemic has placed us in, the AMTRA registration is a prized asset, and one that can be invaluable should you be looking for a new job, exploring the possibility of opening your own business, or even returning to a previous employer,” added the body’s secretary general Stephen Dawson.

Stephen Dawson

Zoos and the British Army

AMTRA also reports that numbers of registered retailers and premises employing RAMAs continues to rise. They include pet retailers, livery yards, agricultural merchants and veterinary practices, through to testing laboratories, zoos, and the British Army.

RAMA renewals for 2021 have been received from employees of more than 1,260 registered businesses and organisations, and of this number some 1,100 of these employ five or fewer RAMAs.

“This gives an indication of the breadth and diversity of the RAMA community,” explains Mr Dawson. “It also shows that more organisations and businesses are recognising the commercial advantages of having fully qualified and highly trained animal medicines advisors to support their retail operations.”

Animal ownership up

Mr Dawson believes the challenges of Covid-19, and its impact on the country, only heightens the value of RAMAs to their employers.

“We have seen significant increases in companion animal ownership in the last year, and this in turn increases demands on the provision of qualified advice on treatments and the supply of veterinary medicines,” he said.

  • ETN is the only equestrian media to publish AMTRA accredited RAMA CPD features and quizzes. These help RAMAs earn the CPD points they need to maintain their qualification.