OATA has joined forces with the National Centre for Reptile Welfare (NCRW) to offer a two-day course for local authority inspectors who undertake animal activities licensing for pet vending establishments.

It’s estimated more than three-quarters of all pet shops that require a licence to sell animals sell fish, with many also selling reptiles and amphibians, making it very likely inspectors will visit businesses which sell these animals.

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 include plenty of theory and hands-on training to bring the English Licensing Activities Involving Animals guidance to life. Inspectors will also get the chance to put it into practice during ‘mock’ inspections in the custom-built shop set-up at the NCRW, located at Hadlow College, Kent.

“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,” said OATA Scientific and Technical Adviser Dr Matthew Bond, who will deliver the aquatic species training.

“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. 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 in Kent on 8 and 9 August with an introductory offer of £400 for both days. Each day can also be booked separately. Find more about what’s covered in the course and to book here.