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Resignations over health screening

SEVEN MEMBERS of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier Club, including a past secretary and show secretary, have resigned over the contentious issues within the committee and the formation of an independent health group.

Pam Bradley, Gill Denham, Angela Peacock, Cynthia Ray, Margaret russell, mavis Walkley and John Charlton made their collective thoughts known in a letter dated October 30th to fellow members.

Principal to them was the co-option of a member to the committee to replace a member who had resigned - this was allegedly done against past custom and practice.

Also questioned was the role of the club magazine editor whose authority had ‘created a situation involving another member’ - this, said the letter, could not be allowed to happen again. But despite requests to address the perceived problem these were allegedly ignored, and scheduled meetings cancelled by the chairman.

These undemocratic actions contravened club rule 7, said the members, which clearly indicates that committee members must be involved.

The members’ greatest concern was reserved for the absence of any progress on the club’s association with the Animal Health Trust on health issues in contravention of club rule 2.

A committee meeting in June this year apparently agreed the formation of a independent health group whose work has been ‘disregarded’ with no further work being undertaken by the Animal Health Trust as a result.

The seven former members also question the proposal to reduce the number of club committee members to nine - ‘further reducing the democratic rights of members by giving fewer people a voice’.

The letter was sent to OUR DOGS and we made contact with Acting Secretary of the DDTC, Hilary Abbott, who stated that she was unaware of the letter’s existence, let alone its contents. After being appraised of the letter’s contents with regard to the health issues, Mrs Abbott issued a formal statement, refuting the claims made about the failure to conduct the agreed health tests:

"Further to the letter sent by aggrieved and now resigned former committee members, I am pleased to report that a letter will shortly be going out to all members of the club, giving full details of a free eye testing day which is to take place on Sunday, January 12th 2003.


"The day is being funded by a research grant and Professor Peter Bedford (of the Animal Health Trust) is hoping to see as many Dandies as possible."

Mrs Abbott added that Professor Bedford was extremely busy, and his work commitments had prevented the eye testing day from taking place any sooner than January next year.
She added: "In April 2003, at the Open Dandie Dinmont Show and AGM, blood testing [for health screening purposes] will take place."

Mrs Abbott concluded: "Also, as secretary of the club, neither I, nor any other committee members of the club have seen the letter in question. However, I understand that this has been sent to at least two members of the club."

Members of the club recently received notification of a Special General Meeting on December 1st. at Barnsley, South Yorkshire.