Chairman's Report to the 2006 AGM

My main report has been published in the Yearbook, and another with the Accounts. However, there are a few additional items that I would like to mention this morning.

Your committee has worked particularly hard this year. They have shown great team spirit and pride in the Club. I hope the membership appreciates this as much as I do.

The Championship show has long been our show piece. It takes a tremendous amount of work to organise the week-end and nothing is left to chance. The event this year was a great success and I think that we should show our appreciation to Sheena Maclaine and her team.

Our appreciation should also go to our secretary, Mrs Jones. A club of this size could not function without a diligent, hardworking secretary, working more-or-less full time.

Our finances are very healthy, thanks to our Treasurer, Mrs Thomas. I'm sure the job is considerably more complicated than she anticipated when she took on the appointment.

Apart from all the usual club activities, the committee endeavoured to sort out difficulties with our Code of Ethics and Disciplinary procedure. We shall come to that later in the meeting. This was not an easy matter and it took up a large amount of committee time.

The Committee has also given much thought to the SM situation, and on this issue I have 5 new initiatives to announce:
  1. We intend to set up and publish a register of dogs and bitches that have been MRI scanned. These will not be graded, and the register will simply be a list of scanned dogs. We hope this more open system will assist members in their breeding programmes.
  2. In an effort to bring the problem to the attention of more GP vets, we approached the Kennel Club, which agreed to distribute leaflets on SM at the next BSAVA Congress, and to include an article in The Leader. This is a KC internet publication that goes out to approximately 4000 vets.
  3. The Club is sponsoring further research by Clare Rusbridge. She will try to establish whether the position of the dog during an MRI scan, can affect the analysis.
  4. We are also proposing to hold an international seminar on SM at the Royal Veterinary College. Details have yet to be finalised, but we very much hope this will be held in November, or failing this, in the spring of next year.
  5. We are looking at the feasibility of sponsoring a PhD student who will work in the genetics department of the RVC. This would be a major fund-raising project and a big challenge. But we did it for MVD and we feel that we can do it again for SM. We hope the membership will give their support.
More details on all of these initiatives in due course.

Sadly, we have various health issues. But we are not alone in this respect, and with the number of Cavaliers registered each year, this is simply bound to be the case. Becoming paranoid will achieve very little. We must keep these issues in proportion and deal with them in a rational way. The fact remains, that most Cavaliers are happy and healthy. However, the problems are real and will affect all us in one way or another. No one is immune. For the present, we are the custodians of the breed and I feel we should take the long view.

Thank you.

Mrs Lesley Jupp
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