Bernese Mountain Dog Club Of Great Britain
Constitution and Rules
(Including amendments adopted at the AMG, March 2018)
- NAME AND OBJECTS: The Club shall be called the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Great Britain and its objects shall be to foster and promote the breed in Great Britain and to impress upon exhibitors and judges the true type as defined by the breed standard; to protect the interest of the breed and to assist members wherever possible in matters relating to the breed.
- THE CLUB: shall consist of a Patron, President, Chairman, Hon. Secretary, Hon. Treasurer, a Committee of twelve and an unlimited number of members whose names and addresses shall be kept by the Membership Secretary. The Chairman, Hon Secretary and Hon Treasurer shall be designated Officers of the Club. The Society must maintain an up to date list of members and their addresses and make this available for inspection if so requested by members of the Society or by the Kennel Club.
- The Annual General Meeting (AGM) may award Life Membership in recognition of extended and/or exceptional service to the club or breed. This award to be the highest honour the club can extend and Life Members, (and joint members on their membership at the time of the award), will receive free annual membership during the lifetime of that life member.
- In addition an unlimited number of ex – officio, non-executive Vice Presidents may be appointed by the AMG also in recognition of notable service to the club or breed.
- MEMBERSHIP: All applications for membership of the Club shall be made in writing to the membership Secretary on the current form prescribed by the committee.
Joint members shall be two or more adults having, for Club mailing purposes, only one address and therefore only receiving a single copy of each mailing and each joint member shall enjoy the benefits of individual membership. Junior members, who must be under 18 years of age, will be entitled to membership but will not be eligible for election as Officers or Committee members and shall not have voting rights. Overseas members shall be deemed to be associate members, receiving all copies of newsletters etc. but not voting papers.
The committee reserves the right to refuse any application for membership; any such refusal must be by a majority vote.
- SUBSCRIPTION: The annual subscription payable on application or on 1st January each year shall be:
Single £14 Joint £16 (to include all members at the same address)
Overseas: Europe £25; Rest of the world £30
Over 60 years of age: Single £12; Joint £14.
All juniors under 16 years, with other family members – free.
The subscription of any new member joining after 1st October shall be valid for the following year. No member whose subscription is unpaid shall be entitled to any of the privileges of membership and if any member shall fail to pay the annual subscription by the 1st of February, the committee shall have the power to erase his or her name from the list of members.
Any member who wishes to resign shall notify the Secretary in writing of his or her intention to do so and will thereby forfeit any subscription paid to the Club up to that date.
- MANAGEMENT: The management of the Club shall be in the hands of the President, Officers and the Committee who shall be elected to serve for three years, one third of whom shall retire annually but shall be eligible for re-election without nomination.
Officers and Committee members of the Club must not be Officers or Committee members of any other club solely devoted to the Bernese Mountain Dog.
- The President, Hon. Secretary and Hon. Treasurer shall be elected to serve for three years, one of whom will stand for election every year in rotation but shall be eligible for re-election without nomination.
- The Chairman of the Committee shall be elected by the Committee from amongst Committee members and Officers at the first Committee meeting held after the AGM. The Chairman of the Committee shall, ipso facto be Chairman of the Bernese Mountain Dog of Great Britain. In addition to a vote as a Committee member, the Chairman shall also have a casing vote.
- Committee meetings shall be held as often as deemed necessary by members of the Committee. At least 7 shall form a quorum for the transaction of business.
- The Committee shall have the power to appoint sub-committees.
- The Committee shall have the power to deal with or dispose of any questions which may arise on any matter whatsoever which are not expressly provided for in these rules.
- Any member of the Committee failing to attend three consecutive meeting of the Committee, without a reasonable explanation, shall be deemed to have resigned. The Committee shall have power to co-opt members to replace those who have ceased to be members of the Committee with due regard to unsuccessful candidates at the last election. Those co-opted shall only hold office until the next General Meeting of the club at which an election of Officers and Committee takes places and must be proposed and seconded in the usual way.
- The Hon. Secretary or deputy shall be required to summon and attend all meetings and keep the minutes of any such meeting in a proper Minute Book and to conduct the correspondence of the club.
- Should the Hon. Secretary or Hon. Treasurer resign from their positions during the first three months of their terms of office, nominations and a postal ballot of members will take place to elect replacements. Should these Officers resign their positions after the first three months of their term of office the Committee may appoint a temporary/acting Hon. Secretary or Hon. Treasurer. At the subsequent election of officers, the acting Secretary or Treasurer must be proposed and seconded in the usual way.
- GENERAL MEETINGS: the financial year of the Club shall be from 1st January to 31st
The Annual General Meeting shall be held before 30th April for the following purposes:
- To receive the report of the:
- Hon Secretary (summarising Committee and club activities)
- Hon Treasurer (including the Statement of Accounts and Balance sheet)
- Membership Secretary
- Rescue Coordinator
- Health Coordinator
- Receive a report on the clubs monitoring of its code of ethics and agreement of any cases to be taken forward using rule 18 of the club constitution.
- Any other specific report, by prior notification to the committee, will be included on the agenda.
- Discuss any motion signed by the Proposer and Seconder which has been duly placed on the agenda.
- The result of the Election of Officers and members of the Committee – as per Rule 5.
Prior written notice of any motion must be in the hands of the Secretary by the date notified by the Committee which shall be at least 28 days prior to the meeting. The preliminary notice of the AGM shall be sent out at least 14 days before the date by which nominations and motions must be in the hands of the Secretary.
At least 42 days prior to the AGM, fully paid-up members shall be notified of the Meeting and shall be asked to submit items for the Agenda and nominations for candidates to the offices of President, Vice-President, Hon. Secretary, Hon. Treasurer and Committee members for the ensuing year. This notification shall be given to members in hard copy via the normal Club mailing unless they have elected to receive club communications by email and shall be posted on the Club website. It may also be given by publication in the Club’s own magazine if this meets the specified time schedule. The AGM agenda shall also be issued in this way.
Only a member who has been a member for at least three consecutive years immediately prior to the election or co-option is eligible for nomination for an office or committee and must be proposed by one member and seconded by another. These nominations must be in the hands of the Secretary by the date notified by the Committee, which shall be at least 28 days prior to the meeting. In cases when there are more nominations than positions available a voting paper recording the names of the nominees shall be sent to each member at least 14 days prior to the meeting. These voting papers on which members must record their votes must be returned for counting by impartial scrutineers by the dates stated on the voting paper. The sealed envelope in which the results are recorded will be opened in the presence of the members at the AGM. The candidates receiving the largest number of votes shall be declared by the Chairman to be the Officers and the Committee Members for the ensuing year. In the event of the same number of votes being recorded for any two or more candidates for the last place on the Committee, a final decision between these candidates will be made by a ballot of members present at the meeting.
The committee has the right to call a Special General Meeting (SGM). Additionally, a SGM shall be summoned by the Hon, Secretary if thirty five members send either a signed requisition by post or a requisition from a personal email account, stating the subject to be discussed. No business other than the matter on the agenda can be discussed at a SGM. Members shall receive 14 days’ notice of a SGM. Thirty five shall form a quorum at such a meeting.
- CLUB PROPERTY AND DISSOLUTION: the property of the Club shall be vested in the Committee. If, at a SGM called for such a purpose, a resolution for the dissolution of the club shall be passed by a majority of the members present, then and in such case the members present at such SGM may decide upon the disposal of the assets of the club after discharging all the liabilities of the club, save that trophies which have been donated to the cub shall be disposed of in accordance with the wishes of the donors or the executors of the donors if such wishes are known at the time of the dissolutions. If this should prove impracticable then the value of the trophies may be realised and the proceeds donated to a canine charity or service selected by the Committee.
- CLUB ACCOUNTS: A bank account(s) and if deemed necessary, other specialist accounts the committee feel appropriate for the effective management of the clubs finances, shall be opened in the name of the club, into which all general and rescue revenue of the club shall be paid and from which withdrawal shall be made only on the signature of two officers as appointed by the committee, one of whom shall be the Treasurer. A separate bank account shall be opened in the name of the clubs shop into which all shop revenue shall be paid and from which withdrawal shall be made only on the signature of the shop manager and the Treasurer. The accounts shall be kept by the Hon. Treasurer and a qualified accountant, independent of the committee shall be appointed at each AGM who shall audit the clubs accounts for the ensuing year before the Annual General Meeting. The certified accounts will be made available on request to members fourteen days before the AGM.
- All club expenditure must be submitted in detail to the committee and authorised by a majority vote. This authority is to be obtained whenever possible by the Treasurer before payment is made, but where this is not possible, the expenditure must not exceed £500 and must receive the approval of the committee at its next meeting.
- EXPULSION OF MEMBERS: Any member who shall be disqualified under Kennel Club Rule A11.j.(5) and/or Kennel Club Rule A11.j.(9) shall, ipso facto, cease to be a member of the society.
If the conduct of any member shall, in the opinion of the committee of the club, be injurious or likely to be injurious to the character or interests of the club, the committee of the club may, at a meeting, the notices convening which include as an object the consideration of the conduct of the member, determine that a SGM of the club shall be called for the purpose of passing a resolution to expel him/her. Notice of the SGM shall be sent to the accused member, giving particulars of the complaint and advising him/her of the place, date and hour of the meeting so that they may attend and offer an explanation. If, at that meeting, a resolution is passed by a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting, his/her name shall forthwith be erased from the list of members and he/she shall thereupon cease to be a member of the club, except that he/she may within two calendar months from the date of such meeting, appeal to the Kennel Club upon and subject to such condition as the Kennel Club shall impose.
- The rules of the club shall not be altered except at an AGM or SGM. The notices of any AGM or SGM shall include the full details of any proposed rule changes. Any alterations to the rules shall not be brought into force until the Kennel Club had been advised and given its approval to such alterations.
- The judges list shall be drawn up by the committee by secret ballot and a majority vote in favour of each judge shall be needed for approval. Nomination for judges to be included on judging lists or to be transferred from one list to another, should be sent to the club on the judges application form, obtainable from the Hon. Secretary, for approval at the next committee meeting. Membership of the club is not a prerequisite for inclusion in the lists. Nomination for judges to be included may be sent to the committee by any member of the club for approval at a meeting. Each list shall begin and end on a specific date and on expiry a new list shall be drawn up.
- Judges for all BMD of GB Club shows (open and championship) are chosen at the discretion of the committee (with effect from 2013), from the BMDC of GB A1 Judges list. No one shall judge the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Great Britain’s Championship Show more than once in 10 years, as from the 2006 Championship Show. It is also a requirement that they will not have judged BMD in the UK within a 24 month period prior to the show. Any overseas judges selected are to be acknowledged Bernese breed specialists in their country of origin. Only one overseas judge per year may be chosen from 2008. No one shall judge the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Great Britain’s Open Show more than once, as from the end of 2003. It is also a requirement that they will not have judged any BMD Club Show within a 24 month period or at a general open show within a 12 month period and a radius of 150 miles, prior to the show.
- ANNUAL RETURNS TO THE KENNEL CLUB: the officers acknowledge that during the month of January each year, maintenance of the title fee will be forwarded to the Kennel Club by the secretary for continuance of registration and prior to 31st July each year, other returns, as stipulated in Kennel Club Regulations for the registration and maintenance of the Title of Societies and Breed Councils, Affiliation and Agricultural Societies and Municipal Authorities be forwarded to the Kennel Club. The officers also acknowledge their duty to inform the Kennel Club of any change of Secretary of the Society which may occur during the course of the year.
- The club shall not be classed as a Trading Business so that all profits from any source, function or activity of the Club shall be maintained for the benefit of the breed and for the further education of the members in the management, training, showing, breeding and all aspects pertaining to the improvement of the breed.
- No person who can be shown to have knowingly exported or assisted in the export of a dog or dogs to any country which does not have legislation for the protection of animals similar in intent to such laws in Great Britain, and which does not have a reciprocal agreement with the Kennel Club, shall be accepted for membership. Any existing member who exports or assists in the export of a dog or dogs to any country which does not have legislation for the protection of animals similar in intent to such laws in Great Britain, and which does not have a reciprocal agreement with the Kennel Club shall be deemed to have offended against Rule 18. The committee shall consider their continued membership in the light of the circumstances.A breach of the Club’s Code of Ethics by a member/s, for example cross breeding Bernese with other breeds, contrary Para 15 of the Code of Ethics, may result in termination of membership in accordance with Rule 18.
- No person whilst an undischarged bankrupt may serve on the committee or hold any other office or appointment within the club.
- No dealer shall be elected a member of the BMDC of GB, neither shall any member knowingly provide puppies, adults or stud dog services to a dealer. The word “dealer” is to be defined as someone who solely, or in partnership regularly sells dogs, in the judgement of the committee, exclusively for commercial gain. Criteria to be considered in this judgement to include excessive number of litters, house keeping of the dogs or any other factors the committee feels relevant. If an existing member is asked to leave the said Club for these reasons, then the committee shall follow the SGM procedure, outlined in Rule 18. The only exclusion to this rule would be any BMD or other breed’s recognised Rescue/Welfare Societies.
- The club’s rescue coordinator and assistant rescue coordinator must have been members of the Club for at least three years and will be approved and appointed by the committee but need not be elected committee members. They will be accountable to the committee and provide regular reports to the committee for every committee meeting and at other times if requested to do so and will refer any major issues to the committee for consideration. The bank account for rescue funds will be managed by the club’s elected treasurer.
- The Kennel Club is the final authority for interpreting the Rules and Regulations of the Club and in all cases relative to canine matters and Club matters. The Club shall not join any Federation of Clubs or Societies.