Constitution of the Masters of Draghounds and Bloodhounds
  1. Name
1.1 The Association shall be known as "The Masters of Draghounds and Bloodhounds Association" ("The Association"). 1.2 The Association was formed following a merger between The Masters of Draghounds Association and The Masters of Bloodhounds Association.
  1. Objects
The Objects of the Association are: 2.1 To promote the sport and fundamental ethic of draghunting and hunting the ‘clean boot’ the essence of which involves the use of hounds to provide pleasure without the pursuit or killing of wild animals. 2.2 To compile and maintain a register of all draghound and bloodhound Hunts registered with the Association and of all Masters serving Hunts on that register. 2.3 To regulate the rights and obligations of its members. 2.4 To regulate the sport of Draghunting and hunting the ‘clean boot’ in the United Kingdom. 2.5 To perform such other functions as maybe desirable from time to time for the purpose of giving effect to the objects set out above.
  1. Membership
3.1 The Association’s members shall comprise Ordinary and Probationary members. 3.2 There shall be no limit to the number of members.
  1. Ordinary Members
4.1 An Ordinary member of the Association shall be a full member of the Masters of Draghounds Association or a full member of the Masters of Bloodhounds Association on the 1st May 1997 or those elected thereafter in accordance with Rule 5 below. 4.2 An Ordinary member shall pay such annual subscription as set by the Association in accordance with Rule 13.4 below.
  1. Application for Ordinary Membership
5.1 Application for Ordinary membership of the Association is open to individuals who are serving Masters of Hunts that are Fully Registered with the Association. 5.2 An application for ordinary membership shall be by submission to the Executive Secretary of the Association of: 5.2.1 a duly completed current application form 5.2.2 payment of such annual membership fee as set in accordance with Rule 13.4 below 5.3 Upon receipt of the above the Executive Secretary shall submit the application at the next available AGM of the Ordinary Members who may: (a) accept the applicant as an Ordinary Member, (b) reject the applicant as an Ordinary Member but accept the applicant as a Probationary Member, (c ) reject the applicant, the decision being by a single majority vote.
  1. Probationary Members
6.1 A probationary member shall be entitled to attend general meetings of the Association, to take such part in debate and the submission of reports as the Chairman of the meeting may allow but shall not be entitled to vote. 6.2 A Probationary member shall pay such annual subscription as set in accordance with Rule 13.4 below
  1. Application for Probationary Membership
7.1 Application for Probationary membership of the Association is open to individuals who are serving Masters of Hunts that are Registered (Fully or Provisionally) with the Association. 7.2 An application for probationary membership shall be by submission to the Executive Secretary of the Association of: 7.2.1 a duly completed current application form 7.2.2 payment of such membership fee as set by the Association in accordance with Rule 13.4 below. 7.3 Upon receipt of the above the Executive Secretary shall indicate the applicants desire to become a Probationary member at the next available Annual General Meeting of the Ordinary members, who may accept or reject the application, the decision being by a single majority vote.
  1. Fully Registered Hunts
8.1 A Fully registered hunt shall be a hunt named in the "Schedule of Fully Registered Hunts" (contained in Rule 27 below) or those registered thereafter in accordance with Rule 9 below. 8.2 All Masters and Joint Masters of a Fully registered hunt must be members, either ordinary or probationary, of the Association. 8.3 A Fully registered hunt shall pay such annual registration fee as set by the Association in accordance with Rule 13.4 below.
  1. Application by a Hunt for Full Registration
9.1 Application for Full Hunt registration is open to Hunts who have successfully completed at least two years provisional registration, and who have complied with the Rules and Objects of the Association. 9.2 An application for full registration of a hunt shall be by submission to the Executive Secretary of the Association of: 9.2.1 a duly completed current application form 9.2.2 payment of such registration fee as set in accordance with Rule 13.4 below. 9.3 Upon receipt of the above the Executive Secretary shall submit the application at the next available Annual General Meeting of the Ordinary Members who may: (a) accept the applicant as a fully registered hunt, (b) reject the applicant as a fully registered hunt but accept the applicant as a provisionally registered hunt, (c ) reject the applicant, the decision being by a single majority vote.
  1. Provisionally Registered Hunts
10.1 A Provisionally registered hunt shall be a hunt named in the "Schedule of Provisionally Registered Hunts" (contained in Rule 27) or those registered thereafter in accordance with Rule 11 10.2 All Masters and Joint Masters of a Provisionally registered hunt must be members, either ordinary or probationary, of the Association. 10.3 A Provisionally registered hunt shall pay such annual registration fee as set by the Association in accordance with Rule 13.4 below.
  1. Application by a Hunt for Provisional Registration
11.1 Application for Provisional registration is open to Hunts who comply with the Objects and Rules of the Association. 11.2 An application by a hunt for provisional registration shall be by submission to the Executive Secretary of the Association of: 11.2.1 a duly completed current application form 11.2.2 payment of such non-refundable inspection and administration fee as set in accordance with Rule 13.4. 11.2.3 written approval from all adjacent and coincident hunts who are registered (fully or provisionally) with the Association. 11.2.4 a suitably scaled map showing the applicants proposed "country" 11.3 The form of application may change from time to time but shall include warranties as to the hygienic state of the applicant’s kennels and that the applicant has the right to exclusive use of a parcel of country substantial enough in size to sustain the applicants activities. ("registered country") 11.4 Upon receipt of a duly completed application form the Executive Secretary shall arrange for the proper inspection of the applicants kennels by an individual chosen by the Executive Committee. 11.5 Upon completion of his enquiries the Executive Secretary shall submit the application and his findings at the next available Annual General Meeting of the Ordinary Members who may: (a) reject the application (b) accept the application the decision being by a single majority vote. 11.6 On acceptance of an application the Executive Secretary shall inform the Hunt of the success of its application subject to the production of such financial bond as the Association may set in accordance with Rule 13.4 below. 11.7 The period of provisional registration shall run from the date that the financial bond is provided.
  1. Representation of Members
Both full members and probationary members shall inform the Executive Secretary of their full postal address and shall notify him of any change of address. All notices and publications forwarded to the last communicated address shall be deemed to have been duly delivered.
  1. Management of the Association
13.1 The Association shall be managed by its Executive Committee who shall comprise:- 13.1.1 the Chairman 13.1.2 the Vice Chairman 13.1.3 the Honorary Treasurer 13.1.4 no more than five other ordinary members 13.2 The Executive Committee shall be assisted by an Executive Secretary and such other staff whom they shall appoint on such terms as they shall think fit. The Executive Secretary may be but is not required to be an Ordinary Member. 13.3 The Executive Committee shall appoint from their number a Chairman, Vice Chairman and Treasurer. 13.4 The Executive Committee shall set annually the level of all subscription, registration, inspection, bond and any other such funds payable to the Association. 13.5 The Chair man and Vice Chairman shall be elected to their representative posts for three years following which they shall retire. 13.6 Both Chairman and Vice Chairman shall be eligible for re-election.
  1. Annual Meeting of the Ordinary Members and Election of the Executive Committee
14.1 The Ordinary Members shall hold an Annual General Meeting one in each calendar year (and not more than 15 months may elapse between one meeting and the next) in respect of which not less than 28 days notice in writing shall be given 14.2 At each AGM the Ordinary Members shall elect from its number such number of individuals as shall bring the number of the executive Committee to not less than six 14.3 Members of the Executive Committee shall serve for 4 years following which they shall retire. 14.4 Members of the Executive Committee shall be eligible for re-election. 14.5 Three shall be a quorum.
  1. Functions of Officers
15.1 The Chairman shall be the spokesman of the Association and shall chair all general meetings of the Association. The Chairman shall be a member of all committees and sub-committees save the Disciplinary Committee. 15.2 The Vice Chairman shall act as the Chairman’s deputy and shall chair the Disciplinary Committee 15.3 The Treasurer shall be responsible for the finances of the Association and shall prepare and submit to the AGM accounts for the preceding twelve months.
  1. Function of the Executive Secretary (General Secretary)
16.1 The Executive Secretary shall administer the Association on a day to day basis, dealing with all correspondence, keeping the minutes of meetings and the Register of Membership, and shall carry into effect the decisions of the Executive Committee, 16.2 shall report to the Executive Committee, 16.3 shall submit to the Treasurer all working books and invoices at least 28 days prior to the AGM.
  1. Register of Members
17.1 the Association shall maintain a register open to the public on payment of such reasonable fee as the Association may from time to time set of the names and addresses of: 17.1.1 Members of the Executive Committee 17.1.2 Ordinary Members and Probationary Members 17.2 The Association shall maintain a register open to the public on payment of such reasonable fee as the Association may from time to time set containing the details of: 17.2.1 Fully and Provisionally registered Hunts 17.2.2 A suitably scaled map of hunt "countries" registered with the Association.
  1. Resignation
18.1 A probationary or ordinary member may from time to time resign from the Association by letter in writing. Any resignation received after the 1st May in any year will not affect the liability of the member to pay the full subscription for the year commencing 1st May 18.2 A member of the Executive Committee may from time to time resign by letter in writing giving, save in the case of an emergency, not less than four weeks notice. The Executive Committee may appoint from the Ordinary members an individual to fill a causal vacancy in the Executive Committee until the next Annual General Meeting.
  1. Expulsion
Any probationary or ordinary member whose conduct (or his representative) is in the opinion of the Disciplinary Committee prejudicial to the interests of the Association and in particular the Objects and Rules of the Association shall be summoned to a meeting of the Executive Committee on not less than 14 days notice save in the case of an emergency (in respect of which the decision of the Chairman shall be final) so that a determination can be made as to whether the member’s membership shall be terminated. The Executive Committee shall allow the member a reasonable opportunity to state its case. The decision of the executive Committee be a single majority shall be final.
  1. Extraordinary General Meeting
An extraordinary general meeting may be called upon 21 days written notice by the Executive Committee or on the requisition of not less than seven ordinary members of the Association.
  1. Accounts
21.1 The accounts of the Association shall be prepared by the Treasurer and shall be audited by an independent person within six months of the end of the Association’s financial year. 21.2 Each ordinary and probationary member shall be entitled to a copy of the accounts once approved by the Executive Committee.
  1. Report
The Executive Committee shall prepare and distribute to all probationary and ordinary members a written annual report of the activities of the Association in the preceding year which report shall be distributed if at all possible with the accounts for the relevant period.
  1. Amendment and Interpretation of these Rules and Bye-Laws
23.1 Amendment shall be by resolution of the ordinary members by a two thirds majority. 23.2 Interpretation shall in the event of a dispute be in the sole judgment of the Chairman.
  1. Regulations
The Executive Committee may make such regulations for the better running of the Association as they shall from time to time see fit. Such regulations shall be incorporated into a book of rules entitled the "Code of Conduct and Rules of the Sport", which shall be maintained by the Executive Secretary and distributed annually to members.
  1. Dissolution of the Association
25.1 The Association shall be dissolved on the resolution of the ordinary members passed with a two thirds majority of the members voting on the resolution 25.2 On dissolution the Executive Committee shall dispose of all property and assets of the association on such terms (including outright gift) they shall in their absolute discretion see fit. Any surplus shall be distributed to each ordinary member of the Association at the date of the resolution to dissolve equally.
  1. In Those Bye-Laws and Rules
26.1 A "Hunt" shall mean a collective group of individuals organising and arranging events that involve enlisting the use of hounds for the pursuit of quarry (real or contrived). 26.2 "Country" shall mean a parcel of country used exclusively by a hunt for the purpose of organising events. A Hunt may only operate or arrange events within its own "registered country" unless invited in writing into another Hunt’s registered "country" by an authorised representative of the host Hunt. 26.3 A registered Hunt must endeavour to hunt its entire registered country truly and fairly save in exceptional circumstances. 26.4 A registered hunt must hunt at least one day in each week during the season, save in exceptional circumstances, and in the case of University hunts, one day each week during full term. 26.5 Copies of fixture cards must be supplied to the Executive Secretary as available throughout the season. 26.6 Masters should endeavour to ensure that appropriate liaison has taken place between themselves and the Masters of any other registered live quarry hunts operating in the area.