Your representatives

The AMTRA Council includes a number of people who have been elected by SQPs to represent them on Council.

If you have questions or concerns or proposals for AMTRA, then of course do contact the AMTRA office. But if you would like to contact your representatives, please do so:

Martyn Channon – farm animal SQP representative

I am a hands-on R-SQP running my own business in Rye, Sussex, established for 35 years. We have 7 employees, including 4 SQPs. I have served as an AMTRA board member and now represent you as SQP representative on Council which meets about 4 times a year. I am on AHDA council and currently serve as their President. I will always be pleased to help any SQP where possible and welcome your comments in order to represent you at AMTRA council meetings.

e-mail Martyn

Lisa Lines – Veterinary Nurse SQP representative

I qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 2002 and I took my C-SQP exam in 2006. I have worked in General Veterinary practice throughout most of my nursing career and have some experience in locum veterinary nursing. I work at the Royal Veterinary College, Queen Mother Hospital for Small Animals. I have been here since 2006 working solely as Head Dispensary Nurse.

e-mail Lisa

Robert Nicklas – companion animal SQP representative

I have owned and managed Thearne Pet Stores in Hull for thirty years. We are a small, successful, single outlet pet store with eight employees. Our success is based on our placing animal welfare at the heart of our business. All of our employees have received formal training and achieved qualifications in retail skills or Pet Store Management. We have another SQP as well as me and another employee will become an SQP in 2013. We sell fish, hamsters, budgies and canaries.

A pet shop is often the first place that people go for animal advice on pet welfare and the pet trade is often under trained. I strongly believe that the qualification to become an SQP and the related CPD is a powerful incentive for the pet trade to expand its knowledge base. I hope to ensure that the training available is relevant, timely and widely available.

Craig Smith – companion animal SQP representative

I am Regional Director for the North region of Pets at Home and look forward to working with the AMTRA Council.

Dave Taylor – farm animal SQP representative

I have worked within Agricultural retailing for over 25 years of which my last 17 years have been as Animal health product manager for Countrywide Farmers. I am on AHDA council and currently serve as their senior vice chairman having completed 3 years as chairman. If you have any issues or comments that you wish to be raised please contact me.

e-mail Dave

Simon Wetherald – equine SQP representative

Owner and MD of Bardsey Mills Ltd, a traditional feed merchant trading in and around the Leeds area for 36 years. Although having no direct interest in horses Simon has a passion for the equestrian industry and as well as his role as an SQP representative on the AMTRA council he sits on the BETA council and is involved with the retail and Equine Health sub committees.

e-mail Simon


This article appeared in the June/July 2010 edition of OvertheCounter magazine.

Increased representation on the AMTRA Council gives SQPs a stronger voice

Speak to any of the SQP representatives on the AMTRA Council and you get an immediate sense of purpose and commitment, and, with the recent election of a new VN SQP representative, SQPs are set to play an increasingly important role in the decision-making process.

The council was established in 2007 to review AMTRA policy and procedures, represent SQPs and promote the work of AMTRA and SQPs. It is made up of a broad spectrum of people from stakeholders, such as NOAH, BVA and AHDA, and five SQPs whose remit is to reflect the views of individual SQPs. These five people have a lot in common – decades of experience between them covering all SQP areas and dedication to the work of AMTRA.

Martyn Channon runs his own agricultural merchants in Rye, and is an R-SQP Council member. “I became interested in AMTRA and what it stood for in the training and regulatory development of our industry when I qualified as an R-SQP in the 1980s. At that time, we had no idea how far AMTRA would grow in stature and influence. The official recognition of AMTRA by government, and from that, the improved status of the SQP has been a vital part of our work. It is something to be proud of.”

For all of the SQP representatives, the cornerstone of that growing professional status has been the introduction of CPD. Martyn Channon explains, “CPD has been proved to be an essential requirement in the provision of quality trained staff and in the recognition of the work they do.”

Kate Byrne is Director of Operations at Just For Pets, and is a C-SQP representative. She too believes that CPD has had a big effect. “The recent introduction of CPD has been an important time for AMTRA. We have helped ensure that all SQPs understand the need for CPD and are able to have access to events and training.”

Kate Byrne also underlines the strength of the SQP Council representatives as a point of contact for SQPs. “At the Council, we encourage SQPs to contact us for help and advice – our contact details are on the website. This been a great way to get feedback on how CPD is working, as well as on other issues. If AMTRA is able to hear the problems that individual SQPs have on a day-to-day basis, then we can provide the level of support that they need.”

SQP representative, Simon Wetherald owns Leeds-based, traditional feed merchant, Bardsey Mills. He is passionate about his role as an SQP representative on the AMTRA council. “I have always been involved in the work to protect our industry’s right to sell animal medicines, and joining the council in 2008 was an extension of that interest. It is an honour to serve on the council.

“As part of AMTRA, the Council has a vital role,” Simon adds, “in protecting the interests of all involved in the industry both by liaising with the authorities on legislation and by getting direct feedback from those they represent.

Lisa Lines is an experienced VN SQP, qualifying as a C-SQP in 2006. She works as the Head Dispensary Nurse at the Queen Mother Hospital for Small Animals and has recently been elected to the Council,. “My election opens a door for opportunities within the Council to understand fully what a VN SQP can comply to in practice, as the ‘middle man’ we are in the perfect position to communicate with clients and the industry.”

Stephen Dawson, Secretary General of AMTRA, underlines the need to listen to and represent the whole range of interests in the industry. “Ours is a diverse sector, from small businesses to regional and national companies, including pet shops, veterinary practices, agricultural merchants and saddlers among others. The needs of those businesses and the professional SQPs working for them vary greatly. AMTRA’s key role is to ensure a high professional standard to support the continued existence of this route to market and manage the expectations of stakeholders, but without imposing excessive burdens on our SQPs or their businesses. The Council is a crucial part of this sometimes difficult balancing act.”

Kate Byrne agrees, “The Council members offer a wide range of interest which advise the board and secretariat. As SQP representatives, we also aim to provide a strong link between SQPs and AMTRA and with five of us on the Council our position has been strengthened.”

“We are proud of our qualification,” concludes Martyn Channon, “and this is recognised financially by employers. As we continue to build on our success throughout the industry, we will increase the standing of the SQP.”

Details of how to contact SQP representatives are on the AMTRA website