Trade bodies the National Centre for Reptile Welfare (NCRW) and the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association (OATA) have joined forces to offer a two-day course for local authority inspectors who carry out animal activities licensing for pet stores.
The first day of the course will look at reptiles and amphibians, while the second day will focus on fish and other aquatic species. Each day will combine theory with hands-on training activities, including the opportunity to carry out ‘mock’ inspections in a custom-built shop set-up at the NCRW, located at Hadlow College, Kent.
OATA scientific and technical adviser Dr Matthew Bond, who will deliver the aquatic species training, said: “It’s vital that local authority officers tasked with inspecting businesses which sell animals, whether that’s a breeder, wholesaler or pet shop, feel confident to carry out that inspection.
“While guidance may be mandatory, the implementation of that guidance depends on the experience and knowledge of inspectors. They have such a wide range of businesses they need to be competent in so, when it comes to animal welfare, we wanted to play our part in ensuring inspectors feel confident when they visit establishments selling reptiles and aquatic species. So, we have created this specialist training to help them improve their knowledge of businesses that sell fish and reptiles.”
He added: “We’ve worked with the NCRW to build on its one-day training course on reptiles to create a second day focusing on aquatics. These two days will run consecutively, making it easier for inspectors to do both courses in one go.”
The first two-day course takes place at Hadlow College on August 8–9, with an introductory offer of £400 for both days. Each day can also be booked separately.