The Animal Health Distributors Association’s annual conference returns to Birmingham on January 23 and 24, 2023 after a three-year break, providing an extensive programme of seminars and workshops led by key figures in the animal health and welfare industry.
The annual two-day event, which was initially postponed for two years due to Covid, then again due to Her Majesty’s funeral in September, will cover topics related to management of farm, equine and companion animals.
Due to the change of date, there has, inevitably, been a few changes to the speakers, and AHDA has announced that John Millward, head of inspections and enforcement at the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), will be the keynote speaker opening this year’s conference, replacing recently appointed Abi Seager, the recently appointed chief executive of the VMD.
Alongside the extensive speaker programme, which includes Dr Alison Pyatt (VMD), Dave Bartley (Moredun Research Institute) and Jonathan Statham (Animal Health and Welfare Board for England), representatives from around 50 leading animal health companies including veterinary medicine manufacturers and suppliers, plus industry groups such as AMTRA, COWS, SCOPS and VMD, will be exhibiting their products and services.
The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Working for Positive Change’ and the programme on day one will include workshops on the topic of responsible prescribing, including a closer look at the prescribing process, faecal egg counting and animal medicine planning.
AHDA has partnered with three key veterinary medicine manufacturers, as well as SCOPS, to help deliver these workshops, which will be fully interactive for all conference delegates.
Earlier this year, AHDA launched a campaign to enhance the responsible prescribing process of POM-VPS animal medicines products, with a particular focus on anthelmintic resistance. The reason behind the campaign, which has been a key focus for AHDA throughout 2022, is to raise awareness of the challenge of anthelmintic resistance faced by the farming industry and to change the attitudes and outlooks of the end users towards all elements of the prescription process.
“AHDA’s main purpose is to support SQPs in their role, working with other industry organisations and bodies to support their right to sell and supply the range of prescription animal medicines across all sectors,” explains Bryan Lovegrove, AHDA secretary general.
“In raising awareness of the challenges of anthelmintic resistance, and by focussing on it in detail at our conference, we hope to bring some of these areas of focus to life, encouraging conversation and engagement among those directly involved in the prescribing process in order to help the end users – their customers – better understand the topic.”
“We’re really looking forward to coming back together after a lengthy break. Exhibitor spaces have sold out, which is a clear indicator of the enthusiasm within the sector, and the importance of meeting in-person to share ideas and discuss challenges.”
The evening gala dinner, which takes place after the first day of the conference, provides a platform for the annual AMTRA Awards ceremony, charity prize draw and after-dinner speaker.
Day two of the conference will focus on a wide range of relevant and current topics in animal health and welfare, including companion animal nutrition, lungworm in cattle and backyard poultry. These sessions will be split into ‘Farm Animal’ and ‘Companion Animal & Equine’, allowing delegates to move between the two topics.
In addition to accessing the most up-to-date research and findings from industry experts, there are around around 60 CPD points available to SQPs over the course of the two days.