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Statement from The Flatcoated Retriever Society

We have recently been made aware that the financial probity of the General Committee has been brought into question on social media. 

Two areas have been commented on the content of which is both misleading and inaccurate. The first subject raised is that in April 2019 the General Committee made a donation of £30,000 to the Animal Health Trust just before it went into liquidation. This is incorrect. 

A donation of £9250 was made to the Animal Health Trust in April 2019 for the Histiocytic Sarcoma Research project, and this was jointly funded by the Brenda Phillips Memorial Health Fund, the Shirley Radburn legacy and the Rescue, Rehoming and Welfare Scheme. The Animal Health Trust did not go into liquidation until 31st July 2020, however the research for which the donation was made is still being carried out by Jane Dobson and her team at Cambridge University.

Since 2001 a total of £22,740 has been donated to the Animal Health Trust to fund research and help purchase equipment to benefit both the health and welfare of Flatcoats, none of which has come from membership subscriptions. All donations can be verified by looking at the Society Accounts and by reading Officers’ reports which are recorded in the AGM minutes and published in the Yearbooks.

£14,290 has been donated by the Rescue, Rehoming and Welfare Scheme. The Scheme is financially independent and relies on donations and fundraising for its income. It has its own bank account and its Code of Practice allows for donations to be made for worthwhile causes. 

The total donated is made up of:

2001, £1990 to purchase a digital camera to connect to their oncology department to study tumours.

2002, £300 to purchase a freezer for the storage of Flatcoated Retriever blood and DNA samples.

2008/09, £5,000 towards the cost of an Endoscopic Cyclophotocoagulation (ECP) to help in the treatment of glaucoma.

2015, £4,000 to finance DNA research into glaucoma in Flatcoats.

2019, £3,000 towards the Histiocytic Sarcoma Research project to develop tests to aid earlier diagnosis and improved treatment options.

£5450 has been donated from Health fund:

2008, £450 towards the cost of a laser machine.

2014, £1,000 towards the cost of DNA kits to archive DNA.

2016, £1,000 for genome research.

2019, £3,000 towards the cost of the HistiocyticSarcoma Research.

£3,250 was donated from the Shirley Radburn legacytowards the Histiocytic Sarcoma research. 

The Flatcoated Retriever Society is very proud of its record with regard to promoting the health of Flatcoats and been fortunate to have had such knowledgeable people as Brenda Phillips, Val Jones and currently Liz Branscombe who have been very proactive in taking forward initiatives that can only benefit our Breed. 

The second criticism concerned ‘out of pocket’ expenses. These are paid to some Officers and are annual contributions towards the use of telephones, computers, internet, and other incidental costs that occur. Out of pocket expenses are agreed at the AGM each year, and were increased at the AGM 2022 for the first time in seven years. 

The General Committee is always happy to deal with any concerns that members may raise directly with them, and will reply to any queries brought to their attention.


FCRS Hon. Secretary