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Minutes of a meeting of Council held on Tuesday 31st May 2005 at the Athenaeum Club, 107 Pall Mall, London.

Present:  the President Mr. B. Hoskin, Prof. J. Bleby, Mr. C. Boyde, 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 arrived at 5.47.

Apologies for Absence:  Mr. L. Gibson, Mr. A. Muckle, Mr. H. Robinson.

Minutes of the previous meeting on 29th March 2005 had been circulated and were approved.

Matters arising from the minutes not covered elsewhere:  none.

Correspondence:  The usual emails regarding consultation documents and news digests, passed on to Council members and interested Fellows.  A letter regarding further consultations about the Medicines Regulations.  A page of address labels (courtesy of Prof. Bleby) for new BVA members in London only, with no Surrey contacts.

President's report:  Mr. Hoskin reported that Lord Soulsby was recovering from a leg amputation, was managing to negotiate a wheelchair and was remarkably cheerful.  It was resolved that the President send him formal greetings.

Secretary's report:  no separate report.

Treasurer's report:  Mr. Herbert reported that there has been an overall loss of £355 on the financial year 2004, which was not too critical, and produced formal accounts to be presented to the AGM.  He assured members that Mr. Robinson's signature was indeed genuine!

BVA Representative's report:  Prof. Bleby submitted a written report on the BVA Council meeting on 30th March 2005, which had been circulated in advance.  He had raised the question of the notification of new members to the Divisions, and had managed to achieve the production of some sheets of addresses for representatives to collect at the end of the meeting.  The CVS allocation only covered London, and it appeared that the fact that Surrey is also in the territorial area is unknown to BVA staff.  Prof. Bleby reported that membership figures as presented are manipulated, and it is hoped that a more simple presentation will be adopted in future.

There was some discussion regarding the feasibility of practice memberships, and the difficulty this poses in relation to individuals being elected to Fellowship.  Suggestions included changing the notices of meeting to welcome colleagues, allowing Fellows to nominate a different representative, welcoming nurses to clinical meetings, drafting a letter to practices in London enclosing a 2005-06 programme, and the new President to send a letter to the Veterinary Record and/or other professional publications.

It was noted that there still seemed to be no realisation within the BVA of the implications of the proposals to allow homoeopathic remedies to be registered without proof of efficacy.  However, several members pointed out that consultation was still very much on-going and it was still possible to write to the VMD about the matter.  Dr. Kerr agreed to draft a letter to be circulated to Council.

Dr. Porter reported that although Mr. C. Collins had indicated that he intended to invite him to lunch (to discuss aspects of the new VSA), no invitation had been forthcoming.  Mr. Hoskin agreed to prompt Mr. Collins.  Mr. Meldrum enquired as to whether BVA was having meaningful discussions with DEFRA about the Act, and Mr. Hoskin assured him that discussions (through Mr. Collins) were continuous and on-going.

AWF Representative's report:  Mr. Ewbank reported that he had attended the Divisional representatives' Day on 24th May, which from the AWF point of view was a success.  Attendance was about 50, with quite a few outsiders present, which precluded frank discussion of problems, but such matters had been discussed earlier.  Mr. Ewbank proposed writing to Mrs. K. Kerr to praise the good aspects and raise a few points of concern.

It appears that there is some misunderstanding regarding the function of the BVA Ethics Committee, with some people not realising that this relates to animal ethics, rather than aspects of professional misconduct, and perhaps a change of name might be advisable.  The question of the involvement of the AWF in political matters despite its charitable status was raised again by Mr. Meldrum.  Mr. Ewbank reported that the AWF had come in for some criticism in the past for being too political, and Dr. Porter recommended waiting for clarification of the terms of the new Charities Act which is at present under review.

Membership:  Dr. Kerr reported that Mr. Mr. Andy Muckle, our Senior Vice-president, had resigned from the Society, as he had moved to Wiltshire some time ago.  Two new applications for Fellowship had been received, from Dr. Morag Dunlop and Mr. Manuel Sanchez, both of Vetlab Services.  These applications were approved.

Council and Office-bearers for 2005-06:  Council approved the following, and agreed to propose these names to the Annual General Meeting.

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. Woodham

Any other business:  The new format of meetings, with Council meetings being called to fit in with BVA Council irrespective of the dates of the General Meetings, was generally praised, and the meeting resolved to continue with this format for the 2005-06 session.

Date, time and place of next meeting:  subsequently arranged for Monday 4th July 2005, at 6.30 pm, at Hardwick Court Farm, Chertsey, courtesy of Mr. Boyde.

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