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Minutes of a meeting of Council held on Monday 4th July 2005, at Hardwick Court Farm, Hardwick Lane, Lyne, Chertsey, Surrey, KT16 0AD.

Present:  the President Mr. C. Boyde, Prof. J. Bleby, Dr. M. Kerr, Dr. P. Lane, Mr. K. Meldrum, Mr. H. Robinson.

Apologies for Absence:  Mr. R. Ewbank, Mr. L. Gibson, Mr. C. R. Herbert, Mr. B. Hoskin, Dr. A. Porter.

Minutes of the previous meeting on 31st May 2005 had been circulated and were approved.

Matters arising from the minutes not covered elsewhere:  Mr. Meldrum reported that Lord Soulsby was home from hospital and remarkably cheerful.  He was being fitted for a prosthesis.

Mr. Boyde intimated his resolve that the Society would not make a loss this year, and remarked that £140 had been saved by holding this meeting in his own premises.  He reported that he had raised the matter of the potential CVS Surrey members at Presidents' Day, but although this had generated some mass panic, nothing had been received.

He also reported that Dr. Porter was now to meet with Chris Collins on 12th July regarding the new VSA, which has only taken six months!  Mr. Meldrum again raised the matter of discussions between BVA and DEFRA on the same matter.  He had asked Miss Hern and Mr. Parker about this, and been told that they have not spoken to John Bourne, now head of Animal Welfare at DEFRA, despite Mr. Hoskin's comment at the last meeting.  This was deferred to the main agenda as regards Prof. Bleby raising the matter at Council.

Correspondence:  Some correspondence regarding the McCunn Prize, and Mr. Herbert taking over from Mr. Thomsett as a trustee.  One copy of the prize book had been given to Mr. Hoskin to pass on to the 2005 recipient, and this left five copies remaining.

President's report:  Mr. Boyde reported that he had attended the BVA Presidents' Day the previous Monday.  There was great concern regarding membership, but no obvious answers.  Some northern divisions had succeeded in obtaining sponsorship for Clinical Club meetings.

Secretary's report:  no separate report.

Treasurer's report:  Mr. Herbert was absent, but had intimated that there was no significant change since the previous meeting.

BVA Representative's report:  Prof. Bleby reported an omission from the minutes.  He had raised a point of order regarding the presentation of the finance report, requesting that this should not be delayed until teatime.  The President had agreed that it should be taken as the first item after lunch, and had agreed that this should be regular procedure.  However, this was not minuted and finances were not on the present agenda at all.  Therefore, Prof. Bleby will have to move a correction to the minutes and request that the finance report be the first item after lunch!  His request for a written financial report had been rejected, as Mr. Hoskin maintained that a verbal report could be more up to date, but in fact this was not happening.

Membership data was still being presented in a complicated format.  There was apparently a net increase of 270, but is that actually true?  The format makes it difficult to account for students.

Enclosure 3 was a document for approval regarding the VSA.  As Dr. Porter is to meet with Messrs. Collins, Greet and Jinman on the 12th, this is too late to influence Council on the 6th.  Can anything be done?  Does BVA intend to make a corporate response, and if so will there be a working party as there was in 1966?  If not, are two BVA observers enough?  Material from Dr. Porter should be used without attribution, as BVA appears to regard him as a hostile witness.

The Electoral College matter was still about protecting bad losers, and should be left alone until the review date.

No paper had yet been received regarding bovine TB.  The NFU wants farmers to be allowed to kill badgers, which Mr. Meldrum considers fair if a sett is infected, and should be supported on condition that it is the farmer's own farm, and the cadavers are examined post mortem to confirm that they are positive.  Pre and post movement testing involving high-risk areas should be supported.

The paper on undergraduate education stated that the curriculum should meet the needs of employers.  Dr. Kerr enquired whether the principle of producing high quality graduates might not be more important.  It was suggested that a great deal depended on which employers were asked.  Omnicompetence was less important in many ways than common sense.

Meat Hygiene.  Some 24-30 month casualty cattle are not being tested for BSE.  The problem is with the system in that there is no direct line of control from the OVS to the MHS.  OVSs should be employed directly, not by an outside contractor, and a direct line of communication is essential.  It is proposed to move to testing of older cattle as an alternative to incineration this autumn.

The VPG has a good remit.  However its minutes are 8 pages long and a summary is required.  For example, the geographical distribution of vets is a massively complex investigation and it is impossible to see the wood for the trees.

MSG minutes include a complaint about SDA Travel, and the setting up of a database of MRSA incidents.  The matter of the recent increase in room hire fees was also raised - this is too much!

AWF Representative's report:  Mr. Ewbank sent his apologies.  Professor Bleby reported that he now had a copy of the AWF accounts, and they are available on the web site.  Transparency has been achieved.

Membership:  Unchanged since last meeting.

CVS Programme:  Mr Boyde presented his draft programme for 2005-06, the final version of which has now been circulated.  Dr. Lane presented some early ideas for 2006-07, including Prof. Peter Lees, on "NSAIDs, where do we go from here?" (possible candidate for the Centenary Prize - he already has the Victory Medal); Dr. Lewis Thomas, of Wildlife Management (formerly "Vets for Hunting"), to speak about badgers; and Mr Brian Cass, Chairman of Huntingdon Life Sciences.  Dr. Lane suggested Mr. Cass as a recipient for the Victory Medal, and also to award a second medal to the head of the Hall family, the owners of Darley Oaks Farm, who had the body of their relative Mrs. Gladys Hammond stolen from her grave in October 2004 by animal rights activists.

Any other business:  Mr. Andrew Edney was proposed as the next Junior Vice-president.  Prof. Bleby moved a vote of thanks to Mr. Boyde for his hospitality.

Date, time and place of next meeting:  subsequently arranged for Monday 12th December 2005, at 6.30 pm, at Hardwick Court Farm, Chertsey, courtesy of Mr. Boyde.

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