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EAZWV Constitution

I. General provisions

Article 1. General

  1. Under the name "European Association of Zoo- and Wildlife Veterinarians" (EAZWV) exists, for an indefinite period of time, an association in the terms of articles 60 to 79 of the Swiss Civil Code (ZGB).
  2. The Association is a non-profit organisation with international membership in the terms of article 60 of the Swiss Civil Code (ZGB).
  3. The Association is located in Schaffhausen, Switzerland.
  4. The Association is registered in the commercial register of the Canton of Schaffhausen, Switzerland.
  5. The business year coincides with the calendar year.

II. Aims, objectives and means

Article 2. Aims

The European Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians aims to promote the advancement and dissemination of veterinary knowledge and skill in the field of zoo and wild animal management and in so doing advance the health, welfare, husbandry and conservation of wild animals whilst upholding the highest standards of professional ethics and contributing to comradeship amongst its Members.

Article 3. Objectives

The European Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians shall:
a) provide a European body for international co-ordination and exchange of information as it relates to the health and welfare of zoo and wild animals;
b) promote high standards of health, welfare and ethics in managing wildlife and offer specialist advice in these areas to wildlife managers and policy makers in the European region;
c) promote the full and proper use of specialist wildlife veterinary expertise and services in all instances of captive wildlife management (zoos / aquariums/ circuses etc.), management of wild populations and formulation of policy relating to these;
d) encourage a good level of basic training in zoo and wildlife medicine for wildlife professionals and promote and support the further and continued specialist training of its members;
e) advance scientific knowledge in the field of zoo and wildlife medicine by encouraging research and the dissemination of information;
f) exchange information and encourage other forms of collaboration between this and other associations in allied scientific disciplines.

Article 4. Means

To achieve its objectives, the European Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians shall:
1 Engage in advocacy and form alliances so as to best:
a) promote the specialism of zoo and wildlife medicine to key stakeholders within the zoo profession, the veterinary profession, conservation organisations and relevant government bodies;
b) advance the health and welfare of wildlife through provision of specialist advice and advocacy to veterinary organisations, zoo associations, conservation organisations and relevant government bodies.
2 Engage in scientific activities to further the organisations aim such as:
a) development of recommendations and of areas of specialism to meet identified wildlife health, welfare and conservation priorities;
b) encourage research in the field of zoological medicine;
c) encourage dissemination of accurate and useful information to our members and to our external audiences;
d) facilitate scientific exchange and collaborations through provision of an annual scientific conference.
3 Engage in educational activities: increasing the knowledge, skills and competencies of our membership and other relevant wildlife professionals through:
a) provision of training courses, workshops and opportunities to share experiences;
b) supporting students as the next generation of wildlife professionals;
c) commitment to internationally recognised qualifications in zoo and wildlife medicine.
4 Encourage networking, information sharing and camaraderie amongst the membership through:
a) provision of a website, newsletter and other electronic resources relevant to the needs of our membership;
b) issuing of a membership directory and a list of educational opportunities;
c) support and encouragement of the national/regional sections of the association in provision of training and support to their membership pertinent to local needs;
d) encouraging the formation and activities of specialist sections and of working groups to further progress the aims and objectives of the association.
5 Ensure the association is run efficiently and effectively through:
a) good governance procedures and engaging suitable support to provide oversight for the organisation’s activities and administrative needs.

III. Membership

Article 5. Members

1 Membership of the Association shall be open to any person or organization interested in or involved in veterinary aspects of captive and free living wild animals, and who wishes to promote the aims and objectives of the Association.
2 There are the following categories of members:
a) Full Member: Individual, qualified veterinarian of good standing, engaged in zoo and wildlife medicine (full or part time);
b) Associate Member: Other veterinarian or other qualified individual of good standing, with scientific (such as human or dental medicine, biology, agriculture, forestry), zoo or wildlife background who does not qualify for full membership;
c) Student Member: An undergraduate or postgraduate veterinary student currently enrolled on a degree programme. This category includes veterinarians engaged in relevant internship or residency programmes;
d) Retired member: A veterinarian that have been a Full member for a minimum of 10 years and who is no longer actively engaged in the practice of zoological medicine/management on a full or part-time basis;
e) Honorary Member: Honorary Membership may be conferred for outstanding services to the Association or its objectives. Nominations for these shall be proposed by the membership or Board for ratification at the next General Assembly and shall not take effect until so ratified;
f) Institutional Member: Scientific or diagnostic institutes, zoological gardens, aquaria and similar institutions, as well as veterinary associations that do not qualify for or are not interested in becoming a Section of the Association under Article 15;
g) Developing Nation Limited Membership: a veterinarian of good standing who is a citizen of a Developing Nation and who is actively engaged in veterinary medicine in a Developing Nation. A full time veterinary student, intern, resident or graduate veterinarian actively engaged in a post-doctoral program of study, who is a citizen of a Developing Nation and is studying in a Developing Nation also qualifies for the Developing Nation Limited Membership. A list of qualifying Developing Nations is available on the EAZWV Web site.

Article 6. Adhesion of Members

1 Applications for membership shall be submitted to the EAZWV secretariat as outlined on the EAZWV website.
2 The EAZWV secretariat will notify the membership of applications received at regular intervals. If no objections are received within three months of this notification, the applicant will be accepted as a member with immediate effect.
3 In cases where the membership application has not been accepted, the candidate may take their appeal to the General Assembly, which shall take a final decision.

Article 7. Termination of Membership

1 The membership comes to an end by the death, the withdrawal or the exclusion of the member.
2 If a member wishes to withdraw, they must inform the EAZWV secretariat in writing no later than 30 September of that year. Their membership will then terminate at the end of the calendar year.
3 The Board may, after having given a warning, temporarily suspend the rights and obligations of a Member, or exclude a Member who:
a) has not fulfilled his/her financial obligations towards the Association;
b) has acted against the aims and principles of the Association;
c) has brought the Association to disrepute.
4 A member affected by a suspension or exclusion may appeal within 30 days against the decision of the Board and present their case to the General Assembly, which shall take a final decision.
5 Anyone withdrawing or being excluded from the membership waives all rights connected to the membership, but is not relieved from the liabilities of the Association up to the date of exclusion.

Article 8. Rights

1 Each member in good standing shall enjoy all rights and privileges of the Association, including:
a) to attend meetings of the Association;
b) to participate, following payment of an eventual congress fee, in scientific meetings and other further training events organized by the Association;
c) to receive at a preferential rate the proceedings of the scientific meetings;
d) to receive the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, online access and/or printed version for a reduced fee;
e) to receive free access to the member area of the association’s website;
f) to access the information and publications provided by the Association and any participating partner operations;
g) to contribute with their expertise in the Association’s specialist sections and working groups.
2 After two years of continuous active EAZWV membership, full members, retired members, honorary members and student members are entitled to vote and hold office.
3 Institutional members may designate a representative who will be entitled to vote on their behalf, but may not hold office. Additional staff of Institutional Members are entitled to attend the General Assembly as observers.
4 Developing Nation Limited Membership members may not vote or hold office, but are entitled to attend the General Assembly as observers

Article 9. Obligations

1 By adhering to the Association, each Member recognizes this Constitution and undertakes to follow it.
2 The Members undertake to pay the annual subscriptions and extraordinary contributions as decided by the General Assembly within one month of the end of the business year.
3 Only the Association's property is liable for the Association's obligations, the liability of individual members for such obligations is explicitly excluded.

Article 10. Sanctions

There are no other sanctions than those referred to in Article 7, Paragraph 3.

IV. Finances

Article 11. Funding

The Association is funded by:
a) annual subscriptions;
b) extraordinary contributions;
c) fees for the attendance of events organised or cosponsored by the Association;
d) proceeds from the sale of publications;
e) voluntary contributions;
f) potential subsidies from national or international governmental agencies.

Article 12. Annual subscription

1 The annual subscriptions and extra-ordinary contributions for all or certain categories of Members are fixed by the General Assembly.
2 Annual subscriptions shall be paid annually as determined by the Board upon receipt of notice.

Article 13. Exemption from the annual subscription

1 Honorary Members are exempted from the annual subscriptions and extra-ordinary contributions.
2 The Board may, upon application, exempt an individual Member from the full or partial payment of the annual subscription if this is justified by special circumstances.

V. The Sections, Working Groups & Other Committees

Article 14. Constitution of sections

1 A minimum of 10 Full or Student members from a geographically defined area may constitute a national or regional section.
2 A minimum of 10 Full or Student members of a specific veterinary discipline or other interest group may constitute a specialist section.
3 Applications to form new Sections must be approved by the General Assembly.
4 Section status is obtained if the Board has noted that the conditions set up in Article 14, Paragraph 1 are fulfilled.

Article 15. Rights and obligations of the sections

1 The sections shall issue by-laws and perform activities, which reflect the aims and objectives of the Association.
2 The sections shall, to the extent necessary and desirable, undertake to coordinate their efforts and activities.
3 To fund their activities, the sections may levy annual subscriptions from their members. Scientific meetings organised or publications issued by a section may be subsidised from the Association's budget.
4 Each section established under Article 14 shall be represented on the Advisory Board by one nominated representative.
5 Each section shall submit a short written report to the secretariat 4 weeks before the General Assembly.

Article 16. Constitution and obligations of Working Groups

1 Working groups may be set up by the Board to further the strategic aims of the Association. The Board may also dissolve working groups if they are felt no longer to be required.
2 The objectives of the working group will be defined by the Board and reviewed on an annual basis.
3 The Board will identify and appoint a suitable working group chair, who will oversee the activities of the working group. This appointment will be reviewed on an annual basis and can be renewed by mutual agreement.
4 Appointment of further working group members is at the discretion of the working group chair but should represent the diversity of the organisation as far as is practicable.
5 The working groups shall, to the extent necessary and desirable, undertake to coordinate their efforts and activities.
6 To fund their activities, the working group may undertake fundraising events or may be subsidised from the Association's budget.
7 Each working group shall be represented on the Advisory Board by the working group chair or their nominated representative.
8 Each working group shall provide a report for the biannual Board meetings and produce a short written report suitable for dissemination to the membership to the secretariat 4 weeks before the General Assembly and the mid-year meeting.

VI. Composition of the Association

Article 17. Governing bodies

The Association shall be composed of
a) the General Assembly;
b) the Board;
c) the Advisory Board;
d) the Executive director;
e) the Auditors.

Article 18. The General Assembly

1 The General Assembly is the supreme body of the Association. It is entitled to:
a) approve the annual report, the financial report, and the budget, and to discharge the Board;
b) determine the annual subscriptions;
c) decide on eventual extra-ordinary contributions;
d) elect the President and the members of the Board;
e) elect the Auditors;
f) ratify nominations for membership;
g) decide on objections from rejected candidates and excluded or suspended Members;
h) decide on the alteration of the Constitution and the disintegration of the Association;
i) appoint Honorary Members;
j) approve national, regional and specialist sections;
k) approve partner organisations.
2 The General Assembly shall hold:
a) regular meetings once a year;
b) extra-ordinary meetings according to a decision by the Board or upon request of 20 % of those Members who are entitled to vote.
3 Unless otherwise stated by this Constitution, decisions of the General Assembly are taken by the simple majority of the Members present and voting. In the event of a tie the president shall have the casting vote.

Article 19. The Board

1 The Board decides on all matters of the Association, as far as not determined otherwise by the Constitution. It has namely the following responsibilities:
a) to convene the General Assembly and to decide on its preliminary agenda;
b) to present the annual report, the financial report, and the budget to the General Assembly;
c) to execute the decisions of the General Assembly;
d) to issue rules of procedure for the General Assembly, the Board and the Executive director;
e) to conclude contracts on behalf of the Association, e.g. in the context of the organization of a scientific meeting or of the publication of proceedings;
f) to grant student presentation awards and financial contributions to research projects, within the approved budget, and taking into account the recommendations of the Advisory Board;
g) to accept, suspend and exclude Members;
h) to set up working groups as required to progress the aims and objectives of the Association
i) to propose nominations for honorary membership;
j) to judge whether existing national or regional veterinary associations or groupings qualify to become sections of the Association;
k) to represent the Association and the professional interests of the membership to the furtherment of the organisations aims.
2 The Board shall consist of the following officers elected by the membership for the periods shown:
a) President - two years;
b) Vice President (= President elect) - two years after which he/she will become president;
c) Immediate Past President - two years;
d) Honorary secretary - two years, with the possibility of re-election;
e) Treasurer - two years, with the possibility of re-election;
f) Vice-Treasurer - two years, with the possibility of re-election.
3 The Board’s responsibilities are outlined in Article 19, Paragraph 1. Duties specific to each position are outlined in Annex 1 of the constitution. Duties may be reviewed by the Board without recourse to the membership provided that the responsibilities defined in Article 19, Paragraph 1 are still met.
4 The Board are elected by the Membership to two year terms as laid out in Article 19, Paragraph 2.
5 The Board should ideally be so composed as to reflect the international character of the Association and the various branches of the profession.
6 Vacancies for positions on the Board will be advertised to the membership at least two months prior to the General Assembly – circumstances permitting. Applications should be forwarded to the secretariat.
7 The Board will consider all applications and put forward nominations to the membership
8 On being elected vice-president, the holder of this office is expected to accede to the office of President and then Past-president of the Association subject to them maintaining the aims and standards of the association and ratification by the General assembly.
9 As a rule, the terms of Board members shall begin at the beginning of the new business year.
10The Board meets at least twice a year.

Article 20. The Advisory Board

1 The Advisory Board
a) assists and supports the Board in all means to achieve its objectives referred to in Article 4;
b) advises the Board on their areas of assigned expertise and / or regional matters;
c) performs other functions which may be entrusted to it by the Board.
2 The Advisory Board consists of one representative of each:
a) section;
b) working group;
c) official partner organizations as defined in Article 24, Paragraph 3;
d) other expert advisors at the Board’s discretion.

Article 21. The auditors

1 The General Assembly shall annually elect two auditors or designate a trust company, which will be responsible for the auditing.
2 The auditors or the trust company shall report in detail to the Board, inform the General Assembly in writing of the results of the audit, and recommend approving or rejecting the financial report.

VII. Events and publications

Article 22. Scientific meetings and other events

1 The Association undertakes to provide at least one scientific meeting annually for the benefit of the Membership.
2 The Association may co-organise meetings with partner organisations or co-sponsor scientific meetings organised by related organisations.
3 When organising scientific meetings, the Association shall take into account other relevant international meetings that are planned for that year.
4 The Association may organise lectures, training courses, excursions and similar events. These may be in conjunction with other organisations where appropriate.

Article 23. The Publications

1 The Association shall publish Proceedings of its scientific meetings.
2 The Association shall support or publish a scientific journal according to the association’s aims.
3 At intervals of three to four months, the Association shall provide pertinent and important information to the membership through provision of a website and other written material as appropriate,

VIII. Affiliation and relationships to other Organisations

Article 24. Affiliations and Partnerships with other Organisations

1 The Association shall consult and, to the extent possible, co-operate with other like-minded organisations to the furtherment of its mission.
2 When organising scientific meetings and in other issues of mutual interest, the Association shall consult and, to the extent possible, cooperate with other Associations working in related fields.
3 The Association may choose enter into official partnership with other organisations under the following circumstances:
a) The partnership increases the effectiveness of the Association in achieving its aims;
b) The constitution or by-laws of the partner organisation must support the Constitution and the aims of the Association;
c) The relationship with a partner organisation is regulated with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) approved by the General Assembly;
d) The partnership is approved by the General Assembly.

IX. Alterations to the Constitution or disintegration of the Association

Article 25. Alterations to the constitution or disintegration of the Association

1 Decisions on alterations to the Constitution or a motion to disintegrate the Association shall be reviewed by the Board and shall be communicated to the Members, together with the Board's comments, at least three months prior to the meeting of the General Assembly.
2 Decisions on alterations of the Constitution or of the disintegration of the Association shall be taken by the General Assembly by a two-thirds majority of the Members present and voting. Votes by proxy from those Members unable to attend will be allowed, but such proxy votes must be in the hands of the Secretary to the Board no later than 24 hours prior to the meeting.
3 If the Association is to be disintegrated, the disposal or utilisation of the Association’s property will at the discretion of the Board subject to ratification by the general assembly or such residual body of the membership that may form a quorum to vote. On dissolution the Association’s property can be transferred to non profit organizations with the same or similar aim, which are exempt from tax and are registered in Switzerland. A transfer of the property back to members / founders or legal successor is not allowed.

X. Final provisions

Article 26. Final Provisions

1 The English version of this Constitution is the original text.
2 The present Constitution enters into force with immediate effect.
Approved at the General Assembly in Atlanta, Georgia, USA on July 2016
On behalf of the European Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians:


Stephanie Sanderson
Hanspeter W. Steinmetz
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