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Leaked memo adds to mystery of Aberdeen-Angus Society disruption

Committee members have been told to make no comment on the society's internal politics.

The intrigue surrounding the turbulence in the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society has intensified.

An internal memo from the society to committee members confirms that Perthshire breeder David Ismail has resigned as president, but states that this was because of “personal circumstances”.

This account differs from Mr Ismail’s own statement two weeks ago when he said he resigned because of his “inability to work with the chief executive”.

David Ismail resigned as Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society president.
David Ismail resigned as Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society president.

Meanwhile, according to the society’s memo, the continuing absence of the chief executive, Barrie Turner, is unconnected to Mr Ismail’s departure.

The document states: “There is no link between David’s resignation and Barrie’s leave of absence, however due to the timing of the announcement about David resigning there has been some external assumptions made.

“This is not the case.”

It goes on to state that Mr Turner has been taking leave of absence since the end of October, and any inquiries he would normally handle should be directed to the breed’s development manager, Robert Gilchrist.

Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society chief executive Barrie Turner is on leave of absence.
Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society chief executive Barrie Turner is on leave of absence.

It adds: “There is nothing the society can comment on Barrie’s leave of absence at this time.”

The document also reveals that Mr Ismail’s resignation was hushed up until after the Stirling Bull Sales in October.

“The Society didn’t want to distract from the historic event happening at Stirling with the Blelack dispersal sale,” the memo states.

“The sale was a very special event in the history of the breed and the council didn’t want this to be unnecessarily overshadowed by any other society news.”

No comment

The memo concludes by advising committee members to make no comment if contacted by media.

Since Mr Ismail’s resignation the society’s immediate past president, Alan Cheney, has been co-opted to the presidential team and will serve until the annual meeting in February when a new president will be elected.

Mr Cheney is being supported by the senior vice-president, Angus Stovold, and junior vice-president Finlay Munro.

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