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KC - i Annual General Meeting

Chairman’s remarks

“I will move on to the next item on your Agenda paper – Item 4 – which is to receive a report from the General Committee in respect of the Club’s activities since our Annual General Meeting in May in accordance with the Constitution and Rules of the Kennel Club - Paragraph A 27 a.

Firstly it is my sad duty to report that the following Members have died since we last met: Mr H W Clayton, Lt Cdr E A J Collard, Mrs J H Gadd-Davies, Mr I B F C Hampton – Honorary Member, Mr P E Jull, Mr T N McComb, Mrs A V Nicholls, Mr A C Reed, Mr K B Staveley
I ask you, please, to stand in their memory.
Thank you.

You will note that the report has once again been circulated in written form, in advance of the meeting, along with the Agenda papers. With your permission, I do not therefore intend to read out that report in full – only to reiterate the major points contained within it, and bring you up to date with those issues which have arisen since the report was prepared.

I would draw your attention to some of the most important features of the period under review :

1. Registrations are up by 13.6% for the first nine months of 2003, as compared to the same period in 2002. Transfers too have increased by an impressive 17.9% for the same period. We believe that this is, at least in part, due to the re-launch of our registration documentation a year ago. In addition Petlog registrations are up by 9% for the first nine months of 2003 compared with the same period in 2002.

2. Then, referring to the section of my report regarding the Puppy Sales Register, the eagle eyed among you will have spotted that it would be pretty nigh impossible for 7000 breeders to produce 40,000 litters a year unless they were each producing rather more than the permitted 4 or fewer litters. This is a typing error and should in fact read '40,000 puppies a year' – not litters - rather more understandable!"

3. The Club’s work in seeking to avoid the need for the adoption of the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals has been well documented in recent months. Meetings have been held with representatives from the Bloodhound, Clumber Spaniel and Shar Pei breed clubs, all breeds that could be affected by the Convention. These meetings have proved to be extremely positive. Action points resulting from these consultations, contribute to the Kennel Club’s efforts to persuade Government that there are already adequate mechanisms in place to ensure that the breeds we support will be healthy and that there is no need for legislation. Major achievements this year will be work on the Bulldog and Pekingese breed standards which will result in amplified health issues in the standards for these breeds. The trigger for these changes - has been various meetings with the Bulldog and Pekingese Breed Council representatives. The General Committee would like to thank all of the breed clubs which have participated to date, for their approach in reviewing the standards - in order to amplify health and welfare issues in this way.

4. Members will recall that at the AGM in May a query was raised about dog biting incidents and what action the Kennel Club was taking to alleviate the problem. A new initiative – the Kennel Club’s ‘Safe and Sound’ scheme (SAS) - has been developed to promote the safe interaction between children and dogs. Due to be launched at Discover Dogs, this scheme will be available in the form of an interactive website directed at children of all ages. I saw the final version of this programme yesterday and was most impressed by it!

5. The Kennel Club’s Art Gallery opened its doors to the public on the 25th September, after a successful launch at which the guest of honour was Mrs Daphne MacDougall who performed the official opening. We hope that those of you who are going back to the Club for lunch today and haven’t yet seen the Gallery, will take time to make a visit.

6. Since the Annual General Meeting in May, some 35 applications for Membership have been received from Associates, and these are currently being considered by the General Committee. It is encouraging to note that these applications have come from Associates involved in each of the various Kennel Club recognised disciplines.

Finally, and perhaps just as importantly, the General Committee has added a further point to those issues agreed last year as necessary in order to achieve its medium term objective - "To raise the relevance of the Kennel Club in the eyes of the public at large, dog owners and those who take part in canine activities so as to be better able "to promote in every way the general improvement of dogs". The new item now added is an important one – namely :

Encouraging more people to provide input into the Kennel Club’s decision making process.
Details of all of these major issues - and a large number of other topics are covered in the report already circulated. (See OUR DOGS Nov 21st. Ed.) The only other matter which I wish to add, is to remind you that Discover Dogs in London, will be held at Earl’s Court this coming weekend and we hope to see many of you at the event. This venture is now in its eighth year - and though it costs the Kennel Club quite a considerable amount of money to stage, the General Committee’s view is that its worth cannot be measured in financial terms alone.

It attracts a huge amount of support from the public and sends out extremely favourable messages about dogs, dog activities, dog breeders and the Kennel Club itself. We must thank all of our supporters and especially the many volunteer dog enthusiasts, without whose dedication and help, we simply couldn’t begin to stage the event.

That brief summary, ladies and gentleman, taken along with the written report already circulated to you, forms the General Committee’s account of the activities of the Club since we last met in May of this year. Thank you.”

‘New’ theatre greets KC members

A total of 137 members of the The Kennel Club attended the Bi-Annual General Meeting at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London’s Mayfair last week.

The newly refurbished meeting hall, re-named the Bill Boeing Lecture Theatre, had much improved accoustics and also had new multi-media facilities which were put to good use.

Even the society presidents’ paintings around the walls of the room had been removed to the crush-hall area.

The centre of London was unusually quiet in view of President Bush’s State Visit and the attendant protests planned and as usual members got the clubhouse early resulting in few late attendees.

It was a fairly dreary agenda which was before members and, as is his style, the chairman Mr Ronnie Irving circulated his detailed 5000 word report to members and to the canine press ahead of the meeting.

The minutes of the Annual General Meeting were approved and only two brief items were brought up and addressed under matters arising. One was the subject of catalogues at shows suggesting that shows must make copies available for general sale and the other was the subject of the concern expressed by members about the number of ‘biting incidents’, and there potential harm if given publicity in the media.

With this in mind the Kennel Club launched the SAS (Safe And Sound) campaign, mentioned on our front cover last week, at Discover Dogs last weekend.

There followed a proposal from Kennel Club Vice Chairman Bill Hardaway who speaking on the General Committee’s behalf set out a scale of charges for a new Litter Naming Service, and attendant fees relating to Litter applications requiring the registration of an overseas stud dog three and five generation pedigrees and new fees for the re-registration of re-imported dogs.

Much of what was suggested had come about as a result of the movement of dogs to and from the continent and additional administration costs that had to be borne.

Twenty minutes into the meeting three members of the Young Kennel Club (YKC) were introduced to members and OUR DOGS own junior correspondent Nancy Bassant, Ben Ashcroft and Jennifer Fairhall gave a very polished Powerpoint presentation on the activities of the YKC which continues to flourish now boasting over 2300 members since the threshold for membership was raised to up 25 years old.

They also gave an insight into the benefits of the outward bound and team building courses they attended and the way in which the skills learned had helped them in the administration of YKC activities at the annual camp and in the YKC ring at Crufts show.

With that appreciated members, new and old, retired to the clubhouse and were invited by the chairman to inspect the new gallery which was officially opened by Mrs Daphne MacDougall last September.