Our Reports and Accounts

Every year we hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) to which all adult association members are invited. At the meeting, the committee is elected and the year's business, including the accounts is discussed in an open forum. The RWAF produces an annual report from the AGM that offers a snapshot of who we are, what we do and what we achieved against our aims in a particular year.

Annual Report and Accounts 2006

The RWAF's message that rabbits deserve better was at last being recognised … but there was much more still for the association to do, chief executive, Rachel Todd, said in her annual report.

“The RWAF has seen a year of steady progress and has started to form partnerships with like minded organisations to advance the association's aims,” she said.

“We have also part funded a study into attitudes towards pets – we know what our members think, and the views of those we speak to at awareness events but we hope through the study to get a better understanding of how the public as a whole perceive rabbits. This will indicate how much work we still have to do and provide a benchmark against which to plot changing attitudes in years to come,” the report continued.

“A few negative reactions have been received to the RWAF's continued intention to work with Pets at Home and host awareness days in their stores. It's worth mentioning again that we do not believe that rabbits should be sold in pet shops - but the majority of the public do. We can't miss the opportunity to hand out leaflets and speak to rabbit owners who may otherwise get poor advice,” Rachel explained.

The RWAF was, she said, delighted to have had the support of Burgess Supafeeds throughout the year.

Anne Mitchell Business Manager, Accounts and Admin, reported that the accounts of the RWAF and Rabbiting On remained healthy. Donations to the RWF netted almost £10,000 with a further £1,500 from Gift Aid for the 2005 – 2006 financial year. Fundraising raised £5,000.

“The shop continues to be a valuable source of revenue, generating £12,000 profit for the financial year 2005/2006. This largely pays for two part time salaries, a 130 square foot storage unit, and also the charges which all organisations are faced with to enable them to accept on line payments, payments by credit card and for insurance and auditor's fees,” she said.

Veterinary Executive, Judith Brown, reported that it was now the third year since the setting up of the UK's Rabbit Residency at Bristol University. Apart from the countless students taught annually there have been many more rabbit evenings aimed at owners, vets and nurses. Bristol Vet School now has state of the art rabbit facilities at their site in Langford. (Clinic availability as well as a fax back form for veterinary advice).

Health queries to the website are still being received from members and non-members alike and new health articles and updated articles have been posted on the website.

“The BVNA congress in mid October was well attended and I would like to thank Anne, Rae, Mark, Julie and Jane for joining me to man the stand. Many of those who attended had heard of the RWA but the new DVD on rabbit care (which we helped Houndstar develop) generated a lot of interest,” she added.

“The joint BVZS/RWF conference in November was well received and is likely to have generated a healthy profit as well as providing vital cutting edge information to many practicing vets.

“Our range of educational leaflets has continued to increase and grants awarded have been progressing well. The research into vectors of myxomatosis has been delayed due to technical difficulties but it is hoped that screening will be completed early next year and the initial results were presented at our recent conference. Melanie Blevins (veterinary student at the Royal Veterinary College) was awarded monies to study the incidence of E. cuniculi in wild rabbits and results are due January 2007. The fly-strike study undertaken earlier this year will be completed in 2007 but preliminary results were also presented at the RWF/BVZS conference,” she said.

Lizzie Smith, IT and Marketing Executive, said that efforts would be made in 2007 to increase membership. It was hoped that the soon-to-be launched Jaffa Club – for young rabbit owners – would prove fun, educational and increase membership. Efforts would also be made to target new adult members. A pilot scheme is to be launched in one area of the country to try to recruit new members through pet shops.

“On the IT front the RWAF has some exciting initiatives planned for 2007, including the redesign of the websites and the introduction of an active members forum. The First Alert service - which keeps members up to date – has gone from strength to strength and now has over 750 members. All new members are automatically added to the list to receive alerts, but if any existing members would like to be join, please e-mail lizzie@rabbitwelfare.co.uk with 'First Alert' as the subject heading,” she added.

Fundraising executive Alan Wilson, who will also be providing IT support for 2007, reported on the work of Outreach officers.

“They have attended events throughout the year, including awareness days at Pets at Home, talks at county shows and schools, and fund raising events for the RWAF,” he said.

He said that members who wanted to get involved with fundraising were always welcome and urged them to get in touch.

Claire King - Communications Executive reported that on average the RWAF received between 20 and 30 e-mail enquiries each week from members and non-members which were responded to by members of the committee.

Accounts

The RWAF's accounts have been prepared in accordance with the recommendations of the Accounting and Reporting by Charities: Statement of Recommended Practice 2005 (SORP).

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