To the individual who has been getting on with their business of dog/horse/cat/rabbit etc behaviour therapy and/or training it may have seemed that little has happened since the flurry of activity three years ago when the ABTC was launched. Actually nothing could be further from the truth. Building an organisation with the support of the establishment that is likely to exist well into the future has proven to be quite a task, certainly not something that can be thrown together by a few well meaning individuals in the space of a few weeks or months. Nearly four years on since the first working group meeting the structure is fairly well in place and now the time is right for responsible organisations that want to be acknowledged as operating to the highest of professional standards to join those who have worked so hard to make it all happen.
All of the core standards have now been published and before the year is out you should start seeing which courses satisfy some or all of each individual standard. This will make it simpler for those joining the sector to work their way through the wide spectrum of quality and value that has characterised the industry for so long. At last people will be able to choose a meaningful career path without having to make decisions based on little more than the adverts and media ‘spin’ they are frequently presented with.
There will, no doubt, be those who will continue to resist and criticise the aims and accomplishments of the ABTC but as I have said since the beginning, anyone hearing such comments should ask themselves ‘what motive would anyone have to resist the moves to improve animal welfare that have the enthusiastic support of so many practitioners, the veterinary profession, the overwhelming majority of the animal welfare organisations, the Sector Skills Council and the Parliamentary under Secretary for Defra?’ I personally fail to see a convincing argument.
I will be posting on this subject as events unfold throughout the year and encourage supporters to spread the word, convince the doubters and join the movement that is reaching an unstoppable momentum.