Rabbit Welfare Association Constitution

Constitution adopted following a ballot of BHRA members, Spring 2002.

Constitution amended on October 20th, 2002

A. Name

The name of the Association is The Rabbit Welfare Association. (Which incorporates The British Houserabbit Association)

B. Management and Administration

Subject to the matters set out below the Association and its property shall be administered and managed in accordance with this constitution by the members of the Executive Committee, constituted by clause H of this constitution.

C. Aims of the Association

"The Rabbit Welfare Association exits to improve the quality of life of pet rabbits in the UK"

Examples are

o encouraging the keeping of pet rabbits as indoor housepets

o education

o Promoting veterinary interest and knowledge in rabbit medicine

o Supporting rabbit rescue

D. Powers

In furtherance of the objects but not otherwise the Executive Committee may exercise the following powers:

i) power to raise funds and to invite and receive contributions provided that in raising funds the Executive Committee shall not undertake any substantial permanent trading activities and shall conform to any relevant requirements of the law;

ii) power to buy, take on lease or in exchange any property necessary for the achievement of the aims and to maintain and equip it for use;

iii) power subject to any consents required by law to sell, lease or dispose of all or any part of the property of the Association.

iv) power subject to any consents required by law to borrow money and to charge all or any part of the property of the Association with the repayment of the money so borrowed.

v) power to employ such staff as are necessary for the proper pursuit of the aims and to make all reasonable and necessary provision for the payment of pensions and superannuation for staff and their dependants.

vi) power to co-operate with other voluntary bodies, charities and statutory authorities operating in furtherance of the aims or of similar purpose and to exchange information and advice with them.

vii) power to establish or support any charitable trusts, associations or institutions formed for all or any of the aims.

viii) power to appoint and constitute such working parties to advise the Executive Committee as the Executive Committee may think fit.

ix) power to do all such other lawful things as are necessary for the achievement of the Association aims.

E. Membership

1) Membership of the Association shall be open to any person or organisation interested in furthering its aims and who has paid the annual subscription laid down from time to time by the Executive Committee.

2) Every individual member over the age of 18 years shall have one vote.

3) The Executive Committee may by unanimous vote and for good reason terminate the membership of any individual or organisation: Provided that the individual or organisation concerned shall have the right to be heard by the Executive Committee, accompanied by a friend, before a final decision is made.

4) The Executive Committee may appoint to Honorary Membership any person who has made a special contribution to furthering the aims of the Association. Honorary members will have no voting rights and may not serve as members of the Executive Committee.

G. Honorary Executive Officers

The Executive Committee shall elect from the elected members a Chief Executive Officer and an Administrative Executive Officer. Other areas of responsibility will be assigned by agreement amongst the remaining members of the Executive.

H. Executive Committee

1) The Executive Committee shall consist of not less than 5 members nor more than 9 members being :

a) Not less than 4 and not more than 7 members elected at the annual general meeting who shall hold office from the conclusion of that meeting.

b) 1 nominated member appointed as follows:

o Trustee of the Rabbit Welfare Fund Charitable Trust

2) The Executive committee may in addition appoint not more than 3 co-opted members but so that no one may be appointed as a co-opted members, if as a result, more than one third of the members of the Executive Committee would be co-opted members. Each appointment of a co-opted member shall be made at a special meeting of the Executive Committee called under clause K and shall take effect from the end of that meeting unless the appointment is to fill a place which has not then been vacated in which case the appointment shall run from the date when the post becomes vacant.

3) All the members of the Executive Committee shall retire from office together at the end of the annual general meeting next after the date on which they came into office but they may be re-elected or re-appointed.

4) The proceedings of the Executive Committee shall not be invalidated by any vacancy among their number or by failure to appoint or any defect in the appointment or qualification of a member.

5) Nobody shall be appointed as a member of the Executive Committee who is under 18 or who would if appointed be disqualified under the provisions of the following clause.

6) No person shall be entitled to act as a members of the Executive Committee whether on a first or on any subsequent entry into office until after signing in a minute book of the Executive Committee a declaration of acceptance and of willingness to act in the furtherance of the aims of the Association.

I. Determination of Membership of Executive Committee

A members of the Executive Committee shall cease to hold office if he or she:

1) Is disqualified from acting as a member of the Executive Committee by virtue of section 72 of the Charities Act 1993 ( or any statutory re-enactment or modification of that provision)

2) becomes incapable by reason of mental disorder, illness or injury of managing and administering his or her own affairs

3) is absent without the permission of the Executive Committee from all their meetings held within a period of six months and the Executive Committee resolve that his or her office be vacated

4) notifies to the Executive Committee a wish to resign (but only if at least 3 members of the Executive Committee will remain in office when the notice of resignation is to take effect).

J. Executive Committee members not to be personally interested.

1) Subject to the provision of sub-clause 2 of this clause) no member of the Executive Committee shall acquire any interest in property belonging to the Association ( other than as a trustee of a charity).

2) Any member of the Executive Committee for the time being who is a solicitor, accountant or other person engaged in a profession may charge and be paid all the usual professional charges for business done by him or her or his or her firm when instructed by the other members of the Executive Committee to act in a professional capacity on behalf of the Association: provided that at no time shall a majority of the members of the executive Committee benefit under this provision and that a member of the Executive Committee shall withdraw from any meeting at which his or her own instruction or remuneration, or that of his or her firm, is under discussion.

K. Meetings and proceedings of the Executive Committee

1) The Executive committee shall hold at least two ordinary meetings each year.

A special meeting may be called at any time by the chairman or by any two members of the Executive Committee upon not less than 4 days notice being given to other members of the Executive Committee of the matters to be discussed but if the matters include the appointment of a co-opted members then not less than 21 days notice must be given.

2) The chairman shall act as chairman at meetings of the Executive Committee. If the Chairman is absent from any meting, the members of the EC present shall choose one of their number to be chairman of the meeting before any business is transacted.

3) there shall be a quorum when at least one third of the numbers of members of the EC for the time being or four members of the EC, whichever is the greater, are present at a meeting.

4) Every matter shall be determined by a majority of votes of the members of the EC present and voting on the question but in the case of equality of votes the chairman of the meeting shall have a casting vote.

5) The EC shall keep minutes of the proceedings at meetings of the EC and any subcommittee.

6) The EC may from time to time make and alter rules for the conduct of their business, the summoning and conduct of their meetings and the custody of documents. No rule may be made which is inconsistent with his constitution.

7) The EC may appoint one or more subcommittees consisting of one or more members of he EC for the purpose of making any inquiry or supervising or performing any function or duty which in the opinion of the EC would be more conveniently undertaken or carried out by a subcommittee: provided that all acts and proceedings of any such sub committees shall be fully and promptly reported to the EC.

L. Receipts and expenditure.

1) The funds of the Association, including any donations contributions and bequests, shall be paid into an account operated by the EC in the name of the Association at such a bank as the EC shall from time to time decide.

2) The funds belonging to the Association shall be applied only in furthering the objects.

M. Accounts

1) Accounting records for the Association will be maintained by the Treasurer

2) Annual statements of account for the Association will be prepared

3) Statements of account of the Association will be independently examined and audited.

N. Annual general Meeting

1) There shall be an annual general meeting of the Association held each year.

2) Every AGM shall be called by the EC. The secretary shall give at least 21 days notice of the AGM meeting to all members of the Association. All members of the Association shall be entitled to attend and vote at the meeting.

3) Before any other business is transacted at the first AGM the persons present shall appoint a chairman of the meeting. The chairman shall be the chairman of subsequent AGMs, but if he or she is not present, before any other business is transacted, the persons present shall appoint a chairman of the meeting.

4) The EC shall present to each AGM the report and accounts of the Association for the preceding year.

5) Nominations seconded by another members of the Association for election to the EC must be made by members of the Association in writing and must be in the hands of the secretary of the EC at least 14 days before the AGM. Should nominations exceed vacancies, election shall be by ballot.

O. Special General Meetings

1) The EC may call a special general meeting of the Association at any time. If at least 10 % of members request such a meeting in writing stating the business to be considered the Executive Committee shall call such a meeting. At least 21 days notice must be given. The notice must state the business to be discussed.

2) A secretary or other person specially appointed by the EC shall keep a full record of proceedings at every general meeting of the Association.

P. Notices

Any notice required to be served on any member of the Association shell be in writing and shall be served by the EC on any member either personally or by sending it through the post in a prepaid letter addressed to such member at his or her last known address in the United Kingdom, and any letter so sent shall be deemed to have been received within 10 days of posting.

Q. Alterations to the constitution.

1) Subject to the following provisions of the clause the Constitution may be altered by a resolution passed by not less than two thirds of the members present and voting at a general meeting. The notice of the general meeting must include notice of the resolution, setting out the terms of the alteration proposed.

R. Dissolution

If the EC decides that it is necessary or advisable to dissolve the Association it shall call a meeting of all members of the Association, of which not less than 21 days notice (stating the terms of the resolution to be proposed) shall be given. If the proposal is confirmed by two thirds majority of those present and voting the EC shall have power to reels any assets held by or on behalf of the Association. Any assets remaining after the satisfaction of any proper debts and liabilities shall be given or transferred to such other charitable institution or institutions having objects similar to the objects of the Association as the members of the Association may determine or failing that shall be applied for some other charitable purpose.

S. Interim arrangement for the BHRA

From such time as the permission of the members of the BHRA is gained to disregard the previous constitution of the BHRA and replace it with document, this constitution shall take effect as if references in it to the EC were references to the persons whose signatures appear at the bottom of this document.

This constitution was adopted on the date mentioned above by the persons whose signatures appear at the bottom of this document.


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