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:

Andrew Pattison – farm animal SQP representative

I have worked for RM Jones for over 30 years as farm-centre manager, building a good working relationship with local vets and throughout  the industry as a whole. I have hands on experience as an end user, having kept a flock of 200 ewes for 15 years before family life and the full time job at RM Jones made being a shepherd untenable.

I care deeply about the SQP supply chain and SQPs as a professional body, believing that they have an important role to play in animal health, whether on farm or for horse and pet owners. In fact, I believe the role of an SQP is to help the farmer make money by improving animal health. We are nowhere without successful customers.

Alison Holloway – Veterinary Nurse SQP representative

I qualified as an R-SQP in 2009 with the second highest mark that year. I am driven by animal welfare and highly committed to responsible medicine use. I am a particular advocate of preventative healthcare and biosecurity, routinely working with clients and vets to devise and implement health plans for ruminants, horses and wildlife parks.

I am a farmer’s daughter, breeding pigs and sheep on a small scale. I am a keen horse owner, having judged horses in the show ring at major events the UK and worked on hunting, racing and showing yards. I also have a much-loved assortment of cats, dogs and a ferret.

I wish to champion the role of the RVN SQP within practices of all sizes. I am very keen to liaise with and represent SQPs and RVNs from all areas of the industry as an approachable “point of contact”; I feel my experience across many areas and species will add a positive contribution to the AMTRA council.

Sharon Groves – companion animal SQP representative

I live on the Isle of Wight and with my husband (David) run Pets with Hart, our own independent pet/ smallholder store.

I am an R-SQP but due to the demographics down here I concentrate on the small animal sector and the store has been successful in the Over The Counter Awards, winning Independent Store of the year and twice I’ve won the Customer Care Award and been runner up twice in the C-SQP Award. I am very dedicated to helping my customers understand the usage and implications of products, be that for flea, worming or feeding or any other care that I am able to help with, as long as it improves the animals life as long as it is used correctly and effectively.

I am constantly using all the ways possible to keep my knowledge up to date, be this via webinars, seminars, Over The Counter, AHDA conference, AMTRA roadshows, etc, etc, you never stop learning.

Craig Smith – companion animal SQP representative

I am regional director for the North region of Pets at Home and look forward to continue 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.

Kirsty McGovern – equine SQP representative

I am currently a buyer for Millbry Hill but I have worked in the equestrian retail industry for nearly 16 years. I have been an SQP for 10 years and I am also a WQP for Armstrong Richardson. I feel I bring a wealth of experience across all aspects of the industry, from customers perception of what an SQP is, to sourcing and buying products.

I have a keen interest in developing the SQP role and I always enjoy a new challenge. I am someone who has seen a lot of changes within the industry and feel that we still need to work on how we can best communicate with the customer.

I feel that an SQP is an invaluable asset to a business as they can really engage with a customer and build a trust that allows a customer to feel they are doing the best for their animals, after all that should be our top priority.


This article appeared in the May 2017 edition of OvertheCounter magazine.

New SQP representatives welcomed to the AMTRA council

Four new SQP representatives elected on to AMTRA council following online and postal ballot

Four new SQP representatives and two returning council members have taken their seat on the AMTRA council following February’s online and postal ballot. Andrew Pattison, Kirsty McGovern, Sharon Groves and Alison Holloway have joined David Taylor and Craig Smith as council members, advising the AMTRA board and secretariat as the authority continues its on-going awareness campaign.

Ahead of the ballot, AMTRA received nominations from more than 20 SQPs wishing to be considered for election, with an extremely strong line-up of candidates.

Stephen Dawson, secretary general of AMTRA explains, “The significant number of nominees demonstrates the genuine desire from the SQP community to get involved in the work of AMTRA including raising awareness of the role of the animal medicines advisor.

“The AMTRA council is intended to be broad in its representation and input. It is inclusive and the fact that all SQP representatives are elected by their fellow peers adds further credence to the important role the council plays in advising on future strategy.”

Andrew Pattison joins the AMTRA council as farm animal SQP representative, and is a familiar face to many over a 30-year career as farm-centre manager at RM Jones in Herefordshire. He has also had hands-on experience, having kept a flock of 200 ewes for 15 years before family life and a full-time job at RM Jones made being a shepherd untenable.

“I care deeply about the SQP supply chain,” says Andrew. “I believe SQPs have an important role to play in animal health, and indeed to help farmers make money by improving animal health.”

Andrew is a multiple OTC Awards winner and sits on the SCOPS steering group. He has also written and delivered AMTRA accredited training.

Elected as equine SQP, Kirsty McGovern has a keen interest in developing the SQP role, and believes communicating with the customer is crucial.

“I feel an SQP is an invaluable asset to a business, as they can really engage with a customer and build a trust that will ultimately deliver the best treatment for their animal,” says Kirsty, an SQP of ten years’ repute, and buyer for Millbry Hill in North Yorkshire.

According to Kirsty, the successful SQP must build a relationship with and be prepared to listen to the customer, as well as imparting advice and drawing on their own knowledge and training.

Sharon Groves, owner of independent pet and smallholder store, Pets with Hart in Newport on the Isle of Wight, has been elected as a companion animal SQP representative. A gold standard SQP, Sharon is actually an R-SQP but due to the demographics on the Isle of Wight, she concentrates on the small animal sector.

“I feel I can share my experiences with other SQPs and represent the point of view of the independent sector,” says Sharon. “I am hugely appreciative of the work of AMTRA, AHDA and the VMD in supporting the SQP.”

As well as running the business with her husband David, Sharon is regularly seen at industry events, and she also breeds and successfully shows Saddleback pigs.

Alison Holloway is a registered veterinary nurse (RVN) and is keen to champion the role of the RVN-SQP within practices of all sizes.

“I am driven by animal welfare and highly committed to responsible medicine use,” says Alison. “I am a particular advocate of preventative healthcare and biosecurity, routinely working with clients and vets to devise and implement health plans for ruminants, horses and wildlife parks.

“I am very keen to liaise with and represent SQPs and RVNs from all areas of the industry, and I hope my experience across many areas and species will add a positive contribution to the AMTRA council,” she concludes.

The four new faces will join David Taylor of Countrywide Farmers, and Craig Smith of Pets at Home, as they begin their second term on the AMTRA Council, as farm animal and companion animal representatives respectively.

The six SQPs are on Council in part for their personal expertise, but in part to act as a conduit for views from the full SQP population. SQPs with new ideas for AMTRA, or indeed any concerns, in addition to raising them directly with the AMTRA office or the representative bodies such as AHDA and BETA, should also consider discussing them with their representatives on Council.