FOUR COUNCIL members have resigned from the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society, in the convulsions following the resignation of the organisation's chief executive, Johnny Mackey, and its communications manager, Chrissie Long, in February.
Contacted by The Scottish Farmer, none of those who have resigned were willing to discuss their reasons for leaving the society.
Of the four, John Tait, of Rostellan, Middleton, Co Cork, Ireland, resigned from his position as junior vice-president, while Andrew Elliot, of Blackhaugh Galashiels, and Giles Lane, of The Old Farmhouse, Lockerbie, tendered their resignations as council members.
Another resignation came from Alan Lawson, of South Farm, Newcastle on Tyne, but TSF understands that this was noted long before Mr Mackey's resignation, and that it was for personal reasons.
Two society members have already been co-opted to replace Mr Elliot and Mr Lane – Wanda Hobbs, of Wedderlie, Gordon, and James Playfair-Hannay, of Morebattle Tofts, Kelso. Meanwhile WM Allen, of Humbleheugh, Alnwick, was voted to replace Mr Lawson in the north of England.
It was noted that both Ms Hobbs and Mr Allen had been unsuccessful in previously bidding to become council members at this year's agm.
No decision has been made to replace Mr Tait's position as junior-vice president, but TSF understands this may change at the next A-A society's council meeting.
After these resignations were tendered, a letter was issued by the society's president, Alex Sanger, of Prettycur, Montrose, which read: "As some of you may know, the society is currently going through a period of significant change.
"The executive team is reviewing and formalising both the immediate, and longer term plan, for the society, and are pleased to inform you that we are operating business as usual, and you should see no immediate impact. The presidential team are working hard in partnership with the staff in the office, the council and members to ensure that it's a smooth transition for our wider membership.
"The day to day business will continue to be run from our head office, with the responsibility for executive decisions remaining with the council," wrote Mr Sanger. "We have a strong and focused council, that are committed to the breed and the membership, and would ask if you have any further questions to please contact your local council member who can be found on our website.
"We have a great opportunity with the World Angus Forum 2017, and are confident and excited to show our friends from across the UK, and globally, our world class cattle in the home of Aberdeen-Angus," he added.
Chrissie Long lodged her resignation on Monday, February 20, and a notice about this resignation was posted online – Mr Mackey's departure followed within the week.
Claims were made by society members at the time that there were more underlying issues within the organisation than people were being made aware of, with an anonymous member commenting: "I feel that there are a lot of things going on that we don't know about, but investigations are ongoing.
"I don't like to see what is currently going on within the cattle society, but let's just hope that common sense will prevail, in the end."