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Minutes of a meeting of Council held on Thursday 22nd January 2004 at the Crown Hotel, Chertsey.

Present:  the President Mr. A. Muckle, Prof J. Bleby, Mr. R. Ewbank, Mr. C. R. Herbert, Dr. M. Kerr, Mr. K. Meldrum, Mr. J. Oliver, Mr. H. Robinson, Mr. G. Tribe.  Mr. M. Nelson arrived at 6.48 pm.

Apologies for Absence:  Mr. L. Gibson, Mr. B. Hoskin, Prof A. R. Michell, Mr. A. Porter.

Minutes of the previous meeting on 2nd December had been circulated and were approved, subject to the correction that it was not the results of the election to the Board of BVA Ltd. which were discussed, but the candidates, considering that the election had not at that time taken place!

Matters arising from the minutes not covered elsewhere:  Prof. Bleby reported that he had not yet been able to ascertain whether any of the books relating to the McCunn Prize still remained.  Mr.Tribe reported that the Prize was still being awarded annually to the best First Year dissection student, sometimes to two people, and that he supplied a cheque on Miss Tribble's request.  The winner for 2003 had been Miss Carolyn White.  Concern was expressed that there was now no meaningful contact between the CVS and the RVC in respect of this prize, and the overall feeling of the meeting was that the change in procedure outlined at the previous meeting was still desirable.  It was decided that the matter should be raised at the Annual General Meeting, and that Miss Tribble would be contacted.

Regarding the proposed new VSA, Prof. Bleby reported that BVA appeared to have taken note of Mr. Porter's document.

Mr. Muckle undertook to contact the Chief Veterinary Officer-elect, Dr. D. Reynolds, with a view to her becoming a Fellow of the Society.

Correspondence:  Again the usual emails from various BVA departments concerning consultation documents and press releases, all of which had been forwarded to Council members and those Fellows who had expressed an interest.  Minutes of the meeting of BVA Council on 28th September 2003.  Mr. Muckle had received a letter from Mr. T. Greet acknowledging receipt of the CVS document prepared by Mr. Porter, and confirmed that attention was now being paid to it.

President's report:  Nothing further to report.

Secretary's report:  Nothing further to report.

Treasurer's report:  Mr. Tribe reported approximately £5,200 in the Capital Reserve Account and £400 in the Current Account, therefore the Society was in good heart.  This was to some extent facilitated by fact that no expenses had been submitted for postage or other secretarial expenditure.  The 2004 subscriptions were due on 1st May, and would bring the total up to around £6,500.  Mr. Tribe intimated his intention to resign as Treasurer and from Council at the AGM due to his imminent retirement.

BVA Representative's report:  Prof. Bleby had submitted a written report on the topics discussed at the BVA Council meeting on 3rd December.

He again raised the matter of the notification to the CVS of the names of new members of BVA within the territorial area.  No such notification is being received.  Mr. Tribe expressed some doubt as to whether circulating details of the CVS was likely to induce many new BVA members (who will in the main be recent graduates) to join the Society.  Prof. Bleby suggested that more emphasis should be put on what BVA can do for the practitioner, for example advising on practice standards and RCVS requirements and so on.

The suggestion was made that perhaps all BVA members should automatically become members of the respective territorial division, by incorporating the territorial subscription with the basic BVA subscription.  However, not only did this appear to be impractical for a number of reasons, it was also felt that the resulting increase in BVA subscription rate would be extremely unpopular and would only result in an even greater reduction in BVA membership.

Prof. Bleby expressed concern about the AVTRW survey regarding teaching of laboratory animal science in the universities, as detailed in a recent letter in the Veterinary Record.  This is a required subject, but virtually no attention is being paid to it. Is anything being done about this?

Mr. Muckle enquired as to who is responsible for drafting the BVA's preferred version of the new VSA.  It appears that there is a joint BVA/RCVS working party considering the matter, and that Mr. Porter is involved in this.  (Later correction - Mr. Porter is in fact not involved.)

Mr. Meldrum enquired as to whether there had been any follow-up from the RCVS/BVA working party into large animal work, however nothing had been heard so far.

AWF Representative's report:  Mr. Ewbank referred Council to Prof. Bleby's written report regarding the matter of the Hayward legacy.  There finally appears to be some possibility of selling some of the land for building.  The 2003 Annual Report will be published in the spring.

Membership:  One new Fellow (retired), Mr. Fred Peters of Teddington.

Any other business:  It was noted that at the time of the March meeting Fellows should be invited to submit nominations for Council for the 2004-05 year.

There was some discussion of the matter of numbers on Council, in that current practice is not fully compliant with the constitution and rules.  It was therefore decided to propose to the AGM that rule 17 should be amended to allow for more flexible working, as follows:

In addition, in recognition of the invaluable contribution of Mr. Porter to the life of the Society, it was decided that Honorary Associates of the RCVS should be eligible to be full Fellows, equally with members of the RCVS.  Rule 4 would therefore be amended to read:

There was some discussion of the need to identify suitable willing candidates for the posts of Treasurer and Junior Vice-president, and the meeting recognised that it would be necessary to take some soundings.

Date, time and place of next meeting:  Tuesday 2nd March at the Farmers' Club, 3 Whitehall Court, London, SWIA 2EL, at 6 pm.

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