AGM 2018 President’s Report
It has been another busy year with the behaviour and training welfare fund pilot, the publication of our paper and involvement in political processes. The political engagement includes the Scottish ban on electronic training devices, tackling the dangerous dogs issue, third party ban on pet sales in England, the DWP project on assistance dogs and the livestock worrying problem.
There are now two clear recommendations from APGAW to the UK Government that the animal behaviour and training sector should be regulated which I am convinced brings formal recognition of ABTC ever closer. We have managed to get the topic on the political agenda but must acknowledge that progress is slow. I have, this year, written again to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Mr Gove and the Under Secretary Lord Gardiner underlining the need for such recognition and detailing ABTC’s position in the sector.
The condition of the wider sector remains a confusing state of affairs with a lack of logical interconnection, overall sense or understandability, particularly confounded by the addition of yet another group aspiring to set standards this year. It is notable that the majority of organisations in this group have abandoned attempts to meet ABTC requirements, opting instead to reap the commercial benefits of operating in an unregulated environment. This further emphasises the need for clarity that will only come about with the firm establishment of a single regulatory authority.
I am delighted to see growing support from the equine community over the past year with the addition of The Horse Trust to our ranks and positive exchanges with the British Horse Society.
This year (2018) marks ten years since the publication of the CAWC report that brought together individuals and organisations with a shared passion for the welfare of animals undergoing training and behaviour therapy. The coming year promises to be every bit as busy as the last and it is very satisfying to see that many of those individuals and organisations that were there at the start are still at the forefront of efforts to achieve our goals today.