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Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on Tuesday 31st May 2005, at the Athenaeum Club, 107 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5ER.

Present:  the President Mr. B. Hoskin, Prof. J. Bleby, Mr. C. Boyde, Mr. A Edney, Mr. R. Ewbank, Mr. C. R. Herbert, Dr. M. Kerr, Mr. K. Meldrum, Mr. M. Nelson, Mr. J. Oliver, Dr. A. Porter, Mr. C. Woodham, Mr. M. Young.  Dr. P. Lane arrived at 6.24pm.

Apologies for Absence had been received from 14 Fellows.

Minutes of the AGM held on 15th May 2003 had been circulated and were approved.

Matters arising from the minutes not covered elsewhere:  Mr. Meldrum referred to the item in "any other business" in which he had offered to write a letter concerning the fragmentation of DEFRA.  The letter had proved too complex, and instead a meeting had been held with the current CVO.  Concerns were expressed about top-heaviness, and whether a fragmented DEFRA can deliver.  Prof. Bleby was requested to keep BVA Council "on the case".  Mr. Hoskin remarked that there was much discontent, with people having to apply for their own jobs.  Mr. Meldrum expressed particular concerns about Lynn Hill, who declares that she has heard no complaints and appears not to be in touch with the real situation.  He has complained about this matter.

President's report:  Mr. Hoskin submitted a written report, expressing his sense of privilege and his enjoyment of his year as President.  He reported on the progress of Lord Soulsby following his recent leg amputation, and a proposal that the Society should send a message of goodwill was carried unanimously.  He apologised for the "ad hoc" nature of the programme, which was somewhat disjointed and not available in advance.  He welcomed the return of BVA Congress to London, and also the change to the CVS programme so that Council meetings were co-ordinated with BVA Council meetings rather than the General meetings.  He summarised the year's excellent programme, singling out in particular Dr. K. Clarke's Centenary Prize lecture on "What's New in Anaesthesia".  He concluded by thanking the Hon. Secretary, the Hon. Treasurer and the BVA Representative.

Secretary's report:  Dr. Kerr submitted a written report, detailing the range of meetings held during the year, and also welcomed the change to the timetabling of the Council meetings.  The key topics of the year were the proposed new Veterinary Surgeons Act and the new Medicines regulations.  Dr. Kerr paid tribute to the expertise and international reputation of Dr. Porter in these fields, and regretted the apparent reluctance of the BVA to take note of this.  Membership numbers were reported to be slightly increased, with the sad loss of Professor Appleby, being balanced by four new Fellows elected during the year.  The web site had been valuable in keeping Fellows informed, especially with meetings being arranged at relatively short notice.  The Hon. Secretary was requested to minute the Society's thanks to Vetlab Services for the hosting of the web site, and the provision of audiovisual equipment for meetings and stationery and postage for mailings.  It was agreed to include an acknowledgement on next year's programme card.

Treasurer's report:  Mr. Herbert presented the accounts for the year ending 31st December 2004, and thanked Mr. Nelson for his assistance.  These revealed an income of £4,187.53 and expenditure of £4,543.44, giving a small net loss of £355.91, largely due to the unforseen costs of the Weybridge meeting.  Assets were £831.59 in the current account and £5,094.14 in the Capital Reserve Account.  This represented a decrease in total funds of £275.26 over the  year.  There was also £1,207.83 in the Centenary Prize Fund Reserve Account, £1,617.80 in the McCunn Memorial Fund Reserve account and £611.34 in the McCunn Memorial Fund Capital Reserve Account.

AWF Representative:  Mr. Ewbank reported that he had attended a meeting of AWF Divisional Representatives on 24th May 2005.  On balance it had been a successful year, the Foundation had taken criticisms on board, but it was necessary to "go on niggling".

BVA Representative:  Prof. Bleby also submitted a written report, confirming that he had attended all BVA Council meetings during the year, and also favouring the new timetable for CVS Council meetings, which allowed him to raise the matters which were flagged up by CVS at the BVA meetings.  The reorganisation of the BVA was beginning to bear fruit, including the report by Mr. Hoskin (now Chairman of the Board) that expenditure for 2004 was 5% below budget and there was a surplus for the year of 342,000.  Advertising revenue for the Veterinary Record was 5% up, and other financial measures were proving successful.  There has been a reported increase in membership of 199, although it is not clear how this is calculated, but BVA has still been slow to provide names of new members who live in our territory, not even realising that this includes Surrey.  Much time had been expended on the Veterinary Medicines Regulations, the new VSA and so on.  In March there was discussion regarding the future of the Territorial Divisions, in which CVS ranks well and pulls above its weight.

Mr. Woodham enquired whether the new venue for BVA Congress, the Royal Society of Medicine, was large enough for the purpose.  Prof. Bleby replied that the capacity was 300 in the new facilities, and this was anticipated to be sufficient.

Election of officers:  The following were elected to Council for the 2005-06 session:

Senior Vice-president
Junior Vice-president
Hon. Secretary
Hon. Treasurer
BVA representative
AWF representative
Hon. auditors
Mr. C. Boyde
Mr. B. D. Hoskin
Dr. P. Lane
Dr. M. G. Kerr
Mr. C. R. Herbert
Prof. J. Bleby
Mr. R. Ewbank
Mr. A. M. R. Nelson
Mr. H. C. Robinson
Ordinary members Mr. L. W. Gibson
Mr. H. Hellig
Mr. K. C. Meldrum
Mr. J. J. Oliver
Mr. A. R. Porter
Mr. H. C. Robinson
Lord Soulsby
Mr. C. B. Woodham

Any other business:  Mr. Meldrum enquired if the new timetabling of the Council meetings was acceptable to Mr. Boyde, and Mr. Boyde confirmed that it was.

Mr. Boyde presented some draft proposals for the 2005-06 session, including overseas veterinary work with the veterinary director of SPANA, the work of the Home of Rest for Horses, the Worshipful Company of Farriers, the history of the veterinary response to FMD with Dr. Abigail Woods, and the working heavy horse.

Mr. Boyde then invited further suggestions.  Mr. Meldrum suggested something on the new Animal Welfare Bill, Dr. Kerr suggested a speaker from the new University of Nottingham veterinary school, as this had not been followed up on from the previous year, Dr. Porter suggested a ladies' evening with a less academic theme, and Prof. Bleby reminded the meeting of the necessity for considering the awarding of the Victory, Centenary and McCunn prizes, with a suggestion of a meeting at the RVC to incorporate the last.

Prof. Bleby concluded with a mention that other Divisional Associations are "on the rocks", in particular the Mid-West and the Southern Counties, and it was thus particularly important to sustain activity.

Date, time and place of next meeting:  May 2006, details to be arranged.

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