CENTRAL VETERINARY SOCIETY
A Division of the British Veterinary Association
Minutes of a meeting of Council held on Monday 6th December 2004, at BVA Headquarters, 7 Mansfield Street, London, W1G 9NQ.
Present: the President Mr. B. Hoskin, Prof. J. Bleby, Mr. C. Boyde, Mr. R. Ewbank, Mr. H. Hellig, Mr. C. R. Herbert, Dr. M. Kerr, Mr. K. Meldrum, Mr. M. Nelson, Mr. H. Robinson.
Apologies for Absence: Mr. L. Gibson, Prof. A. R. Michell, Mr. A. Muckle, Mr. J. Oliver, Dr. A. Porter.
Minutes of the previous meeting on 28th September 2004 had been circulated and were approved.
Matters arising from the minutes not covered elsewhere: none.
As the Hon. Secretary was delayed, the agenda was taken out of order.
BVA Representative's report: Prof. Bleby submitted no formal report as there had been no formal BVA Council meeting since our previous meeting. Mr. Meldrum asked when was the appropriate time to nominate potential Honorary Associates of the BVA, and was informed that such nominations can be proposed at any time.
AWF Representative's report: Mr. Ewbank reported that there will be a meeting at BVA on 25th May 2005 when representatives will be able to make five-minute presentations on selected topics, and he would welcome suggestions from CVS. A number of questions were asked.
- Do Divisional Representatives receive a copy of the full accounts of the AWF?
- AWF, as charity, is constrained from lobbying: therefore, should not BVA consider establishing a mechanism for lobbying on welfare issues - perhaps an individual with appropriate experience rather than a formal committee.
- Why are AWF accounts not circulated automatically?
BVA Council Agenda:
- Increase in total membership is welcome, but why are territorial divisions still not notified of new BVA members within their areas?
- The membership of the VPG was questioned. There is still no member with experience of DEFRA, whereas there is a need to get into DEFRA at every level. Mr. Meldrum spoke at the AGM, but although there had been an undertaking to co-opt him this is not happening.
- The quality of BVA representation at stakeholder/external meetings is questionable, with BVA 'massively' missing out on potential influence. BVA representatives on the Food Safety committees were unprepared, and not ready with constructive proposals. Briefing meetings are essential, where the representatives are brought up to speed by experts in the field. Mr. Hoskin suggested that Council be asked how BVA representatives to external bodies are chosen, and is there a list of suitable experts available? Has any action been taken to address the concerns of the CVS? It should be recognised that people in this and other divisions have a great deal to offer.
- Mr. Meldrum reported that Peter Soul and Mandy Baker had left Page Street, and the BVA needed to establish personal relationships with section heads and veterinary advisors - for example John Bourne MRCVS, who was a Cabinet Office official, is now responsible for the Animal Welfare Division.
- Mr. Porter's involvement in the new VSA appears to have stalled.
- Animal Health and Welfare Strategy. If the government won't pay for vets to go on to farms, then large animal practice will collapse. Licensing of farms seems to be the only way to achieve anything. A surveillance strategy is required, but DEFRA do not regard themselves as providers (the benefiting party, seen as being the farmer, is required to pay, revealing a complete lack of forward vision). The weakest link is the small/hobby farmer, who can't afford veterinary services.
- LVI fees. Why are DEFRA asking BVA to do their work for them, and define the rôle of the LVI? Comparators should be MHS veterinarians, 'consultant' vets employed by DEFRA, Anval report and SVS pay rates.
- Veterinary Medicines Regulations. What is a 'suitably qualified person'? It must be accepted that pharmacists should be able to do for veterinary medicine what they do for human medicine. However, are they properly trained for this? This needs to be addressed. Vets dispensing against other vets' prescriptions is a matter for concern, and it should be noted that the responsibility for the prescription remains with the prescribing vet.
- Animal Welfare Bill. Mr. Meldrum noted that this requires close scrutiny. The disease contingency plan is a concern, and the VPG should have an input to this. The SVS Agency was going ahead, but the question remains, how should policy and executive function be split? Animal identification is a major problem. It was a problem in the FMD outbreak, and has enough been done? Have the right things been done?
- Elections to Board: the meeting voted to support Douglas Hutchison.
- Elections for President-elect: the meeting voted to support David Catlow.
Membership: Dr. Kerr reported that Dr. Irma Villanueva had resigned, as she has returned to live in Spain. Council unanimously accepted an application for Fellowship from Prof. Quintin McKellar.
President's report: The President proposed that Dr. Kathy Clarke, Senior Lecturer in Anaesthesia at the RVC, should be invited to deliver the Centenary Prize address this session. This was unanimously agreed. It was also agreed not to award a Victory Medal this year. The format of the next General Meeting at Mansfield Street was discussed.
Secretary's report: Nothing further to report.
Treasurer's report: Mr. Herbert submitted a written report detailing a current account balance of £1,556.10, but reported that he had not received an account from the VLA for the meeting in September. The reserve account stood at £5069.22, the McCunn current account at £560.43, the McCunn reserve account at £1608.68, the Centenary Prize current account at zero, and the Centenary Prize reserve account at £1201.02.
Date, time and place of next meeting: Tuesday 29th March 2005, at 6 pm, at BVA Headquarters, 7 Mansfield Street, London, W1G 9NQ. Next General meeting will be on 20th January, also at BVA Headquarters.
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