Established 1870
A Division of the British Veterinary Association

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Minutes of a General Meeting of the Society held on Tuesday 2nd March at the Farmers' Club, 3 Whitehall Court, London SW1A 2EL.

Present:  the President Mr. A. P. Muckle and 14 Fellows and guests.

Apologies for absence had been received from 18 Fellows.

Minutes of the meeting held on 2nd December 2003 had been circulated and were approved.

Matters arising:  none.

Correspondence:  none

Any Other Business:  none.

The President welcomed Mr. Fred Peters to his first meeting of the Society since becoming a Fellow in January.

The meeting was then addressed by Rev. Gordon Gatward, Director of the Arthur Rank Centre.  The Arthur Rank Centre is a collaborative unit supported by the National Churches, the Royal Agricultural Society of England and the Rank Foundation, serving the rural community and its churches, and is situated at Stonleigh Park, Warwickshire.  Rev. Gatward described the founding of the Centre with funds donated by the film mogul, J. Arthur Rank, and its subsequent history of service to the rural community.  He outlined the variety of areas of need in the countryside, and in particular the enormous strain imposed by the FMD epizootic.  The efforts of the Rural Stress Information Network and the Farm Crisis Network were particularly vital among people who were often isolated and cut off from normal avenues of assistance.  Frequently the assistance given to support a family's survival in the rural community could make all the difference to the viability of that community through maintaining school numbers etc.

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