Animal Behaviour & Training Council Newsletter May 2020

ABTC have asked us to share their newsletter with you and have given us permission to publish this on our blog!

Internal Newsletter - No 34, May 2020

"Dear All,

Over two months into the Covid-19 crisis and nobody has escaped the effect completely. Although the worst is probably over people are still dying in the hundreds, businesses are disappearing and unemployment is higher than many have ever seen before. The WHO predicts that the virus will be with us for a long time and many of the ways that businesses have been devising to protect their staff and continue offering their services will probably become the new norm for some time to come rather than a temporary measure. ABTC trustees have been working hard over the past two months to champion the self-employed and contribute to the official advice associated with pet ownership and pet services as well as further developing internal processes.


The 2020 AGM was cancelled pending a new date and administrative arrangements. It is now confirmed that this will now occur on the 17th July by Zoom. More details and agenda will be published in due course. Trustees have been meeting regularly using Zoom which has proven to be a very efficient medium of communication.

Appointment of Secretariat

ABTC has now appointed Val Harvey to provide secretariat services ( All general communication should now be directed through this email address.

CFSG Guidance

A coalition of the UK’s best-loved national pet charities and experts (including ABTC) joined forces under the CFSG to produce a range of advice and guidance for pet owners and those offering pet services during the current situation. This advice and updates appear regularly on the ABTC Facebook site and is available for viewing and downloading at:

Financial Matters

Practitioner Organisations will be aware that individual register fees have been waived this year to try and help those who will have lost their income due to social distancing rules. The consequence of this has been a substantial drop in ABTC income for the year, however, prudent management of our finances leading up to the crisis has meant that we are confident moving forward.

New website

Already budgeted for the new website project has completed the tendering process and a designer has been appointed. Progress on the design and launch of the new site will be reported in due course.

RCVS accreditation

RCVS preparations for ABTC accreditation were initially delayed due to the work required to accommodate the changes resulting from Brexit and now the Covid-19 crisis has added to those delays. A dialogue is being maintained with RCVS and we are assured of their enthusiasm to continue with the project as soon as feasible.

Additional Trustees

To date we have received two nominations for new trustees but more are required. All member organisations are asked to circulate this topic amongst their own membership. Trustees do not need to be the organisation’s representative and they are not restricted to practitioner organisations.

Internal processes

Much time and effort has been dedicated to reviewing and updating ABTC documentation, policies and procedures. Sub-committees dealing with Programme Recognition, Practitioner Assessments and Membership application processes have all continued to work.

Free CPD

For those struggling to meet their annual CPD requirement during the current situation one of our Supporting Member Organisations (Compass Education Ltd) is offering up to 30 hours certificated CPD free of charge to members of ABTC member organisations. Contact for further details.

Special Message

As we become more aware of the impact of Covid-19 on the animal welfare sector we cannot be complacent. New challenges confront us and we must face up to them with compassion and innovation for the sake of the animals that we all work for and with. Our thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones and we urge everyone to be vigilant and work safely as we move forward to minimise any further losses."

David Montgomery                                                                                                                                         

President ABTC   

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