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Minutes of a meeting of Council held on Thursday 20th March 2003 at the Athenaeum Club, 107 Pall Mall, London.

Present:  the President Prof. A. R. Michell, Prof. J. Bleby, Mr. R. Ewbank, Mr. B. Hoskin, Dr. M. Kerr, Mr. A. Muckle, Mr. J. Oliver, Mr. H. Robinson, Mr. G. Tribe, Mr. B. Viner.

Apologies for Absence:  Mr. L. Gibson, Mr. K. Meldrum, Mr. M. Nelson, Mr. A. Porter.

Minutes of the previous meeting on 20th February had been circulated and were approved.

Matters arising from the minutes not covered elsewhere:  Twelve donations totalling £500 had been received in response to the CCSF appeal.  It was resolved to add £100 to this from CVS funds and present a cheque for £600 to Mr. Julian Wells (the evening's speaker), who is CCSF Hon. Treasurer.

Mr. Porter had sent Dr. Kerr a copy of his letter to Mrs. Pat James, conveying the Society's sympathy.

Correspondence:  Seven emails from various BVA departments, all forwarded to Council and interested Fellows.  These included 9 consultation documents, 2 notifications of news digests, and information relating to renal transplants in cats, the Competition Commission report (still awaited), and a Media Training Course.  Also an email from Mr. Peter McCormack re Off the Record, noting that he was working his way through Divisions' submissions and would not publish our submission every month.

A letter was received from Derek Thorpe, BVA Head of Finance, enclosing the Policy document for CVS insurance cover, as arranged by the BVA - followed a week later by a request for a new proposal form to be completed by 7th April in order to maintain cover.  These had been passed to the Hon. Treasurer, who reported that he had dealt with the matter.

President's report:  The President reported on the aftermath of the FMD saga, and remarked that it would become clear that the overcull had been 'impossible nonsense'.  Various bodies would be making representations to the House of Commons Select Committee.

Secretary's report:  The letter from Mr. T. Greet had been dealt with as instructed, and the letter to Mrs. Kate Kerr as drafted by Prof. Bleby had been sent as agreed.  Nothing more had been heard from Jane Virgo re consultation documents.

Treasurer's report:  The Hon. Treasurer submitted a written report, and commented that the accounts for 2002 had been completed and would be with the auditors the following day.

BVA Representative's report:  Prof. Bleby reported that there had been no meeting since the previous CVS Council meeting.  He had written to Mr. Peter Jinman as agreed, and copies of this letter and Mr. Jinman's reply had been circulated.  Mr. Meldrum proposed that the matter be allowed to rest for the moment, and this was agreed.

Mr. B. Hoskin reported on the Government and Management Project team.  He and Mr. K. Linklater were seeking agreed progress, with a paper to the April meeting and conclusions by July.  A full day meeting was planned for the following week (27th March).  Mr. Hoskin indicated that he was willing to take on the rôle of Project Manager, and devote two days per week to the task.  Professor Bleby agreed to recommend him for this position.

AWF Representative's report:  There was nothing to report, and Mr. Ewbank was still awaiting a reply to his letter.

Membership:  At the time of the meeting this still stood at 90, but immediately following the close of the meeting two completed applications were received from prospective Fellows - Mr. Paul Manning and Miss Helen O'Hare.  It was informally agreed that these should be accepted.

Corporate membership:  The difficulty of accommodating corporate membership when it was manifestly impossible to have corporate Fellows was discussed, and the wider question of increasing membership and attendance at meetings was considered.  It was agreed that the most fruitful method was for Fellows to enrol younger colleagues, who could of course attend meetings in any case.  Professor Bleby also pointed out the possibility of Associate Membership for non-veterinary-qualified scientists.  The desirability of recruiting more government vets from Page Street and Pirbright was also mentioned.  It was agreed that Dr. Kerr should produce a discussion paper on the subject of recruiting strategies for consideration at the AGM.

Competition Commission:  The report of the Commission had still not been published, and the matter was deferred to the next meeting.

CVS Awards:  The President reported that he had received nominations for both the Victory Medal and the Centenary Prize from the Junior Vice-President: Mr. John Oliver for the former and Mr. Graham Duncanson for the latter.  Both nominations were accepted unanimously by the meeting.  The President then noted that although a written procedure existed for nominations to a 'Victory Medal Committee', no such committee had in fact been convened for many years.  Council took note of the consultation document distributed by Prof. Bleby which described recent accepted practice and agreed to continue with this system, namely that the incoming President should nominate for both awards, subject to approval by Council.

Any other business:  The Junior Vice-president Mr. A. Muckle put forward his draft programme for 2003-04, to much appreciation.  He proposed to have a final programme prepared for the May Council meeting.

Dr. Kerr commented that both Mr. P. Jinman and Mr. S. Ware would be available for questioning the meeting of the Sussex Veterinary Society on 26th March, and enquired if there were any appropriate points which might be raised.  It was agreed to raise the matter of response and follow-up to the BVA consultation documents.

It was agreed to provide Mr. M. Nelson with the transcript of the presentations on Foot and Mouth Disease given at the October meeting, to determine whether a condensed form might be of interest to, say, the Veterinary Times, as proposed at the November Council meeting.  It was stressed, however, that the speakers must give their consent to any publication before it can go ahead.

Date, time and place of next meeting:  Thursday 15th May 2003 2003 at 5.00pm at the Athenaeum Club, 107 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5ER.

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