AGM 2017 Chairman’s report
As I stand down as Chairman of the Council I look back on our achievements since the collapse of the CAWC chaired meetings seven years ago. From our start as the VetNetLLN working Party and the subsequent meeting at the RVC in London in 2009, to where we find ourselves today we have achieved so much. Who could have predicted when it was agreed that we should pull together to create a regulatory body that the Council would become the driving force for the improvement of animal welfare in relation to training and behaviour that it is today?
Our advice and feedback is now in greater demand than ever as we have become well established as the main source of qualified information for matters associated with our sector. We are working with BSI on two projects currently and there has been a stream of government and other consultations to take part in.
Specific and general goals for 2016/17 were all met to some extent, some completely:
- Every veterinary practice in the UK is made aware of our work.
With the help of the PDSA it was possible for ABTC to be included in their annual PAW report which goes to every veterinary practice and there were two advertorials in the VetIndex which also goes to all veterinary practices. The information is therefore out there but I believe more needs to be done to emphasise the issue and ensure vets actually read it.
- A presence at two or more major conferences.
Both BSAVA and BVNA congresses were attended with high profile success, this also contributed to goal 1. The WOOF conference was also attended in the Spring of this year.
- Recruiting more Practitioner Organisations.
This has happened and continues although much work is needed to improve the speed of the approval process.
- Developing our fundraising potential.
Fundraising has seen limited success but as the period comes to a close a new initiative is under way through crowdfunding in support of the new Welfare Fund.
- Registering as a charity in Scotland.
This process was fraught with administrative difficulties and has been on-going for the entire 12 months. Thankfully all was in place by March and a statement confirming ABTC’s charitable status has recently been received.
There is however a caveat to all the self-praise. We are by no means perfect and there remains much to be achieved, particularly in advertising our presence outside of those we have direct contact with. We are well known within the sector and Defra however our name is still not known within unrelated departments of some member organisations and seldom would pet owners have heard of us. This must change if we are to grow.
Goals for 2017/18
- Develop the Welfare Fund project.
- Continue working at building our public profile.
- Improve the membership approval system with particular attention to timescales.
- Lobby government for a clear declaration of support for ABTC as the regulatory body for all animal training and behaviour.