Constitution and rules of the International Veterinary Pigeons Association

1. Name of the Association
The Association shall be called “The International Veterinary Pigeons Association”, abbreviated as the IVPA. The Association is an independent, international, professional organisation of specialists advancing and promoting pigeon medicine by education of its members, the veterinary community and those they serve.
2. Objectives
The objectives of the Association shall be:
• To organise meetings for studying diseases and conditions relating to the Columbidae family;
• To encourage research in this field;
• To develop and maintain the scientific knowledge of its members;
• To promote the exchange of information and material for study between individuals and organisations regarding the Columbidae family;
• To share practical experience and information regarding pigeon health in particular countries;
• To set up ad hoc working groups, as necessary, to consider specific issues or disease problems;
• To lobby the EU Commission or other authority, or coordinate lobbying of individual members, on specific issues;
• To constitute, by means of its meetings and website, a continuing education resource for the benefit of all members;
• To establish and maintain liaison with other bodies with related interests, especially with international and national veterinary organisations, in particular with The World Veterinary Poultry Association (WVPA), European Association of Avian Veterinarians (EAAV) and Poultry Veterinary Study Group of the EU (PVSG EU);
• The organisation cooperates with the pigeon breeder associations, especially with the Federation Colombophile Internationale—FCI.
3. Membership
• The Association shall consist of Honorary Life Members and Ordinary Members.
Honorary Life Members: Ordinary Members who have given long and valued service to the Association may be elected as Honorary Life Member with retention of all existing membership rights. Honorary Life Membership may also be conferred on members and non-members of the Association who have made distinguished contributions to pigeon science. Nominations for Honorary Life Membership shall be made to the Bureau by any member and, if approved, shall be put to a General Business Meeting for election by a majority vote.
Ordinary Members: Veterinarians interested in pigeon science and related subjects shall be eligible for Ordinary membership. Non-veterinarians holding a recognised scientific qualification may be accepted into Ordinary membership provided they are directly engaged in research, advisory work or teaching concerned with pigeon science. Any Ordinary member may serve as a national representative on the Bureau and may hold office.
• (Applications for membership shall be made to the national branch of the International Veterinary Pigeons Association, or, in its absence, directly to the Secretary/Treasurer. The national branch or the Secretary/Treasurer shall grant membership. The Secretary/Treasurer may also accept members who choose not to join a national branch.
• When a person has been accepted into membership of the Association, that person shall be informed in writing of their membership by the national Corresponding Secretary or the Secretary/Treasurer, and be sent a Certificate of Membership and a copy of the Constitution and Rules.
• Every Ordinary Member shall pay an annual subscription, the amount of which shall be determined by the Bureau of the Association. Subscriptions shall be paid to the national Corresponding Secretaries either through a national organisation or directly. For countries without a Corresponding Secretary, subscriptions may be paid directly to the Secretary/Treasurer. The subscription shall be payable in advance and shall be received by the Secretary/Treasurer by 1st June every year. The Corresponding Secretary or the Secretary/Treasurer shall provide members with a receipt for subscriptions paid. If two years in arrears with his or her subscription, a member shall, after due notification, forfeit all membership rights and privileges.
• Members wishing to resign shall notify the Corresponding Secretary or the Secretary/Treasurer before the subscription becomes due.
4. National branches of the Association
• National branches shall normally be formed (I) from an existing national body representing veterinary poultry science interests requesting its recognition by the Bureau, with members joining the International Veterinary Pigeons Association, or (II) by a group of individual members in a country joining together, with the approval of the Bureau to form a national branch. Usually, a branch should consist of at least five members.
• One national branch per country shall be recognised and entitled to representation on the Bureau if the branch consists of at least five members. Regional sub-branches may be formed with the approval of the Bureau.
5. Corresponding Secretaries of branches
• Any national branch shall either appoint a Corresponding Secretary in a manner of their choosing or be represented by a Corresponding Secretary selected by the Secretary/Treasurer of the Association. The name of the member elected shall be reported to the Secretary/Treasurer for announcement to the Bureau at its next meeting and at the subsequent General Business Meeting.
• The Corresponding Secretary of any branch shall also act as the Bureau member for that country if the branch has at least five members. This minimum number shall be subject to change by the Bureau as required by circumstances.
• Corresponding Secretaries shall be responsible for collecting subscriptions from their national members. The subscriptions, and names and addresses, of members shall be sent to the Secretary/Treasurer before the 1st June every year.
• Corresponding Secretaries shall keep their members informed of all Association matters that concern them.
• Corresponding Secretaries shall write an annual report to be published in the IVPA e-Newsletter “Messenger” on the branch activities and relevant news and information from the country, and deliver it to the Editor of “Messenger”.
6. Officers of the Association
• The Officers of the Association shall be the Honorary Life Presidents (non-voting), a President, two Vice-Presidents, a Secretary/Treasurer. One Vice-President shall be the retiring President.
• The Office of Honorary Life President shall be conferred on members who have served the Association with great distinction. Nominations shall be made by the Bureau from members of the Association and elected at a General Business Meeting by a majority vote.
• The President and Secretary/Treasurer shall be elected for a period of two years. The Secretary/Treasurer shall be eligible for re-election for one further period of two years.
• The Vice-Presidents shall hold office for a period of five years.
• No less than six months before the expiry of any office, the Secretary/Treasurer shall ask members of the Bureau for nominations for the office concerned. Such nominations must be proposed and seconded by members of the Bureau who must have obtained the consent of the nominees. All nominations received shall be approved by the Bureau and put to the General Business Meeting for election by a majority vote. If more than one nomination is received for any office, the appointment shall go to the nominee receiving the most votes at the General Business Meeting.
7. Bureau of the Association
• The routine business of the Association shall be transacted by a Bureau that shall consist of the Officers of the Association and the Corresponding Secretaries who represent countries with a minimum of five members of the Association. This minimum number shall be subject to change by the Bureau as required by circumstances. Each Bureau member except Honorary Life Presidents has one vote. When a Bureau member is also an Officer, that member is entitled to two votes.
• In any matters concerning the interpretation of the Constitution and Rules, the decision shall rest with the Bureau. The Bureau shall decide any matters concerning the Association which are not covered explicitly by the Constitution and Rules.
• Any country with five or more members of the association shall be entitled to one representative on the Bureau who is normally the Corresponding Secretary of the branch. Bureau members shall serve for a period of five years starting immediately after a General Business Meeting. Members shall be eligible for re-election. If necessary, a Bureau member may nominate a substitute to attend a Bureau meeting and vote in their absence.
• The Bureau may, if necessary, co-opt a new member if a vacancy occurs.
• The Bureau shall meet at least every two years, usually during a Congress for transaction of the Association’s business. Notice of such meetings shall be sent to all Officers and Bureau members at least six months before the meeting.
• A quorum for all Bureau meetings shall be seven, and resolutions shall be approved by a majority vote of those present.
• The Bureau shall be empowered to employ, on the recommendation of the President and Secretary/Treasurer, any staff necessary for the transaction of the Association’s business.
• The financial year shall start on the 1st January. The audited balance sheet shall be circulated to all Corresponding Secretaries within three months after the end of the financial year.
8. Meetings of the Association
• The Association shall hold Scientific Congresses and other Scientific Meetings at which scientific papers shall be communicated and the ordinary business of the Association transacted.
• Scientific Congresses shall be held every two years. The venues shall be chosen by the Bureau four years in advance from competitive bids presented by national branches that have a representative on the Bureau. The procedure for bidding to organise Congresses shall be determined by the Bureau and shall be provided in written form to all national branches. The organisational and financial liability shall be the responsibility of the hosting branch. The representative on the Bureau or a deputy shall take an active part in the local organising committee and shall report once a year to the President and the Secretary/Treasurer of the Association on the arrangements being made for the Congress.
• There shall be a General Business Meeting of all Members held once every two years during the Congress at which the Secretary/Treasurer shall present a report, and officers shall be elected.
• A quorum for all General Business Meetings shall be fifteen, and resolutions shall be approved by a majority vote of those present unless stated otherwise.
• Proceedings of meetings are private and shall not be communicated to the Press without the permission of the Bureau.
9. Resolutions
Resolutions shall be considered by the membership only at General Business Meetings and shall be submitted with the name of the proposer and seconder to the Secretary/Treasurer at least two months before the said meeting.
10. Publications
• “Messenger” shall be the e-Newsletter of the Association.
• The IVPA intends to publish the “Pigeon Pathology” magazine as far as it possesses financial and organisational capabilities.
11. Alterations to the constitution and rules
The Constitution and Rules can be altered only at a General Business Meeting and only after notice has been given to members at least three months previously. Alterations proposed require a proposer and seconder. No alteration shall be made unless at least two-thirds of those present and voting are in its favour.