The new Veterinary Medicines Regulations (VMRs) come into force today - Friday 17th May 2024. The new regulations and guidelines will be updated on the VMD website (

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The government has announced its new national action plan (8 May 2024) on antimicrobial resistance to protect peopl...


AMTRA and Harper Adams University have announced a brand-new qualification; the ‘Diploma in Animal Medicines Advice’. This qualification is the first of its kind, being the only formal post-registration qualification for all registe...


AMTRA is delighted to launch a brand new CPD module:

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To mark International Women’s day AMTRA’s deputy CEO, Hillary Cowle...


AMTRA was pleased to hear the BVA’s plea for modernisation and reform of the ‘outdated’ Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 which they talked about at their annual dinner in Westminster last night.


AMTRA broadly welcomes the publication of the Government response to the GB Veterinary Medicines Regulation consultation. The consultation was conducted last year and AMTRA prepared a comprehensive response to this. We’re delighted to see that the VMD has listened to the concerns we raised. We are pleased that the proposal to change the classification for new immunological veterinary medicines so...


A new Council has been appointed and met in January. 

The council is comprised of a group of AMTRA RAMAs selected from a shortlist of volunteers, plus members of the Board, and observers from VMD and Harper Adams University. Council members have a role in representing the voice of RAMAs are a conduit of feedback. They play an important role in being the...


This medicines update is provided by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) and lists new active substances, new marketing authorisations and changes to authorisations most relevant to vets and SQPs for POM-VPS medicines.

The VMD publish 6 months’ worth of medicines update information on their VMD conn...


AMTRA has recognised the latest generation of talent in the sector at its annual awards ceremony which was held during the AHDA conference in Birmingham on 22 January 2024.

AMTRA plays a vital role in the animal medicines industry and is dedicated to training RAMAs to deliver the highest standards in qualification, training, and CPD, resulting in skilled and knowledgeable RAMAs who are w...


Chief Executive Stephen Dawson and Deputy Chief Executive Hillary Cowley met with Lee Grist Head of the VMD Distribution and Supply Chain.   

Several topics were discussed including planned changes to exams and the transition to Multiple-Choice Questions only for level 4 assessments (Base, VN, Avian and CA ...


The Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority (AMTRA) has reported a strong uptake of new accredited SCOPS and COWS CPD modules. 

The CPD modules, which have been funded by AMTRA, have been available since the Autumn, appearing in the September and November issues of OverTheCounter magazine, and also online, via the OverTheCounter websit...


AMTRA has received queries relating to the Welsh sheep dipping programme, but the concepts involved are general so our guidance and interpretation is relevant to all - not just those in Wales or involved in sheep dip supply. 

In the Welsh dipping programme, both vets and RAMAs/SQPs are involved, and we've had reports where neither professional considers that they are prescribing, but...


Have you heard the great new podcasts from SCOPS?

Listen as you drive to work, and encourage farmer customers to listen while checking their stock. The podcasts are a really useful new tool in the service SCOPS offers the UK sheep sector. SCOPS already has a huge range of resources on its website, plus a great system for issuing updates and warnings at key times of the year, but th...


The RUMA Targets Task Force (TTF) summary report covers ten sectors across aquaculture, pigs, poultry and ruminants and provides the latest annual progress update in the second cycle of TTF goals across all UK livestock sectors for data collection, use of antibiotics, uptake of preventative measures such as vaccines and training, and the development of industry initiatives. This second cycle bu...


XL bully type dogs are to be banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act from 31st December.

The RCVS has issued guidance following announcement of the Ban:

Following a recent rise in attacks and fatalities caused by XL Bully dogs, the Government has recently added this breed to the list of dogs banned in England and Wales* under the Dangerous Dogs ...


The VMD are publishing 6 months’ worth of medicines update information on their VMD connect website 

Information includes a rolling 6-month of summaries of changes of new marketing authorisations and changes to existing authorisations that relate to the safe use of the product is at You can find it under the ‘vet practice & supply’ tab at the t...


The active ingredients imidacloprid and fipronil used in a range of AVM-GSL, NFA-VPS and POM-V parasiticides, until recently were also used in agriculture as insecticides. Imidacloprid is a neonicotinoid. The name means "new nicotine-like insecticides". They are chemically similar to nicotine. Clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam are included in this class...


The VMD are now publishing 6 months’ worth of medicines update information on their VMD connect website which went live earlier this year 

Their website enhances the guidance and services already available on and provides a deeper insight into t...


Regulatory body AMTRA, which manages the registration for around 7000 Registered Animal Medicines Advisors (RAMAs/SQPs), sent information on renewals to all RAMAs by email or post in mid-October.

For the 2024 period, the renewal fees have increased slightly from previous years; for farm-animal RAMAs (those with the letters R, G, K or L in their prefix), the renewal fee for 2024 will be £6...


The latest update on BTV-3

BTV-3 has been reported on hundreds of farms in the Netherlands, and into Belgium.

Due to the nature of bluetongue’s ability to spread via infected midges, the risk of it reaching the UK is increasing. In the UK, bluetongue, including BTV-3, is a notifiable disease, so anyone suspecting the disease 


Industry stakeholders have been working to reduce pressure on injectable MLs for treatment of sheep scab and thus help preserve their efficacy and reduce the development of resistance. Increasing the treatment and prevention of scab with OP dips has an important role in doing that.

In practice, many farms do not have facilities up to required standards to be able to use OP dips, or lack p...


Following a number of recent improvements to the exam format and a closer working relationship with Harper Adams University (HAU), the Animal Medicines Training and Regulatory Authority (AMTRA) has announced further developments to the RAMA exam system.  

The most significant change is an update to the structure of the written Registered Animal Medicines Advisor (RAMA) exams; th...


Back in March, the RCVS Council approved changes to its guidance on prescription of POM-V's to an animal that is "under care" of a veterinary surgeon: these will come into effect on 1st September 2023.

On the face of it, the main change to the guidance was mostly focused on physical examination of animals under the care of a veterinary surgeon.

The guidance changed from:



The DEFRA Animal Health & Welfare Pathway is central to the government’s manifesto commitment to protect and enhance farm animal health and welfare, and to maintain and build on existing world-leading standards in England.  

The Pathway was launched in 2023 and supports continual improvement in farm animal health and welfare. It is a...


On 26 July 2023, AMTRA and Harper Adams University invited a a range of employers and other stakeholders to come together at the Harper Adams campus to discuss the journey so far and look to the future for the AMTRA RAMA/SQP training and qualification.

Improvements to processes that have been made as well as further improvements planned were discussed. Over the past 18 months, over 40 imp...


A number of changes and improvements have been made to the AMTRA RAMA exam system, with a new team at Harper Adams University working alongside the Animal Medicines Training and Regulatory Authority (AMTRA) to modernise and streamline the process.

Building on their 32-year partnership, AMTRA and HAU have been working closely together, meetin...


Ever wondered what the role of an AMTRA assessor entails? We get to know the newest additions to the team of AMTRA assessors taking RAMA candidates through their Viva exams.

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The first AMTRA in-person exams at Harper Adams University in nearly three years took place last week. This hosted exam complements the main online AMTRA exams and gives candidates and employers an alternative choice, though we expect most people will continue to sit the exams at home or work.

We know historically that all exams were in person, taken with pen and paper. The move to...


Both AMTRA and Harper Adams University websites refer to the SQP qualification as being awarded at either a level 4 or level 5 qualification, depending on the areas studied, but what does this mean?

In England qualifications are divided into levels starting at level 1, progressing to ...


VMD’s medicines update lists new active substance, new marketing authorisations and changes to authorisations most relevant to vets and RAMAs/SQPs for POM-VPS and AVM-GSL medicines. 

Full details available in the update document. Of relevance in particular for RAMAs/SQPs see: <...


A big focus in March was the AMTRA response to the long anticipated Proposed Veterinary Medicine Regulations and the Consultation We capitalised on the VMD workshops during the consultation period submitting a document that was just under 20 pages representing key points relevant to SQP/RAMAs.

In summary AMTRA welcomes the recording of receipt and supply of prescription products. W...


The Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority (AMTRA) says more should be done to highlight the benefits of a more strategic approach to equine worming, and has called for horse owners to seek specialist advice about the importance of testing.

The regulatory body will be doing more to support Registered Animal Medicines Adv...


The country’s next generation of registered animal medicines advisors were recognised this week at a lavish awards ceremony during the annual AHDA conference, as the AMTRA RAMA student award winners were announced at the Hilton Metropole Hotel at Birmingham’s NEC on Monday 23rd January. 

The winners have been nam...


The Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority (AMTRA) has opened nominations for Council representatives, who are elected by RAMAs to represent those working in the industry.

The AMTRA Council advises both the Board and the AMTRA secretariat on a range of issues that impact Registered Animal Medicines Advisors (RAMAs/S...


Animal medicines regulatory body excited with proactive approach to developing and driving strategy and addressing market needs.

The Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority (AMTRA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Seals MBE, FRAgS to the role of Chair, taking post following the AMTRA Council and Board meeting in London on 1st March 2022.

An experienced...


Mild conditions experienced in parts of the UK at the New Year and a generally warm end to January, means the Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep (SCOPS) group has launched its Nematodirus Forecast earlier this season - it's now available at

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Registered Animal Medicines Advisors plays key role in the prescription and supply of certain veterinary medicines.

With growing concerns from pet owners on the difficulties of finding access to a vet, and more and more practices facing increasing difficulties in recruiting enough veterinary staff to fill rotas, the key role of Registered Animal Medicines Advisors (RAMAs) has never...


AMTRA has announced that the current CPD period, which began in July, will include some compulsory CPD for farm animal Registered Animal Medicines Advisors (RAMAs), with a focus on anthelmintic resistance, supporting industry-wide efforts to raise awareness of one of the biggest challenges for the sector.

Managing parasite control for food producing animals is a critical part of th...


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 ti...


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 mo...


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 be...


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 ...


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 ...


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 jus...


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...


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.<...


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.

The benefits are clear:

  • No travel requirements, saving time and money
  • 24/7 access, allowing you flexibility of when to log in
  • Being internet...


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...


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



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 welfar...


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 ...


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...


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 purchas...


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 en...


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 Qualifie...


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 war...


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 reg...


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 –...


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 far...


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 Genera...