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Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society council hits out at turmoil

In an open letter to Farmers Guardian, a group of the society’s council members spoke out about the fallout which last month saw the departure of its chief executive.


Lauren   Dean

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Lauren   Dean
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Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society council hits out at turmoil

Dear Sir,

 

Having noted the articles in the press over the last few weeks, and the reluctance of any individual to be quoted when questioned on the present fallout within the Aberdeen Angus Society, we the undersigned believe that it is incumbent upon us as Council members during 2016 and earlier to express our deep concern about what has happened and as to the future of the Society.

 

As we have no access to the Society database of addresses we have decided to release this letter to the press.

 

In recent months a small group of members outwith the Council have pursued a campaign to discredit and undermine the Society’s former chief executive, Johnny Mackey, and the communications manager, Chrissie Long.

 

This group continually voiced a number of unfounded accusations about their ability to perform their duties.

 

Eventually, despite the continuing support of a majority of Council members, Mr Mackey and Ms Long considered their positions untenable and resigned.

 

Having forced these damaging resignations it is not clear to us what is the further agenda of those who forced them out.

 

Council elections take place to allow members, chosen by democratic means, to run the affairs of the Society in the best interests of the breed and the wider membership.

 

We are concerned that this is no longer the case in the Aberdeen Angus Society and that undue influence over Council is now being wielded by a small unelected group which, since Mr Mackey’s departure, has led to the junior vice-president and two of the executive committee resigning.

 

Further, at the Irish Aberdeen-Angus Association AGM last week it was agreed that their representatives would not currently be prepared to attend any Council meetings.

 

The effective removal of the chief executive by those acting without mandate from either the Council or the membership, has not only stalled progress to improve the structure and ’good governance’ of the society but has also put at risk new initiatives which would have helped to re-position the Breed in the market place as the UK’s No 1 beef breed.

 

The route forward to maintain a unified society is unclear but, going forward, we would hope that the membership will insist that the affairs of society are run by a Council within which the majority view prevails, and with the expectation that the elected representatives would act with independence and transparency in the best interests of the Breed.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

  • Tom Arnott – Council member 1996-2001, Vice-President 1999-2001; Council member 2014-2017, President of the Aberdeen Angus Society 2016-2017
  • David Evans – Council member 2001-2004; Council member 2013-2017, President 2015-2016
  • Patricia Glennie – Council member 2014-2017, Executive Committee 2015-2017
  • Andrew Elliot - Council member 2015-2017, Executive Committee 2016-2017
  • Giles Lane - Council member 2016-2017, Executive Committee 2017

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