NCA prepares for New
Year of Activity December 2009
The latest management committee meeting of the
National Council for Aviculture was held on 9th December, 2009 at the Fieldhead Hotel,
Markfield, Leicestershire. The chairman, Dennis Webster, welcomed those in attendance and
was pleased to announce that at the Foreign Bird Federation council meeting of 22nd
November both he and David Paine of the ZFS had been re-instated as NCA delegates.
The Secretary, Dave Whittaker, was able to confirm
that the first print-run of 5000 copies of the NCA's revised booklet "Welcome to
Birdkeeping" would take place within the next week. These to be distributed to
members of the public at all major events at which the NCA is represented in 2010 in the
hope of attracting more bird lovers into the hobby of responsible birdkeeping.
The management committee approved the commissioning
of a photographer to secure high quality pictures of various bird species for future
publications, certificates and for the NCA's publicity stand.
Several proposed amendments to the NCA's constitution
were also approved for consultation with members and eventual adoption at the next
AGM. These included a number of disciplinary clauses to help preserve the NCA from
undemocratic or unconstitutional behaviour from delegates of its parent bodies or from its
The chairman informed the meeting that he had
received written notification from George Booth that after two years of stewardship of the
NCA's funds he was stepping down from the post of Treasurer at the end of December. The
chairman thanked George for his successful efforts in reorganising and simplifying the
Council's accounts after a time of considerable upheaval and changing of officers two
years ago and, of course, during the current period of financial upheaval nationally and
internationally. The committee echoed these sentiments and expressed a unanimous wish that
George remain as a delegate on the management committee. Dave Whittaker, secretary, will
oversee the Treasurer's duties between 31st December and the AGM.
The Treasurer, George Booth, presented a written
statement of accounts and expected that by the end of this calendar year the NCA's total
funds would show an increase on last year's figure.This represented considerable progress
bearing in mind the lamentable rates if interest currently available for investment and
deposit accounts.The NCA insurance scheme has proved very successful, and more and more of
our member organisations are taking it up.
The secretary reported receipt of an official
invitation from the executive of COM for three NCA representatives to attend a meeting on
Friday, 22nd January, 2010 at the World Show in Porto with three representatives of the
IOA (COM.GB) to discuss the way forward during 2010 and the lead-up to the 2011 World Show
in France at which we would all hope for an increase in the number of UK birdkeepers
taking part. Current communications with the IOA continue to be maintained formally in
writing between the secretaries and copies sent to both chairmen.
The Chairman informed the management committee that
our very successful and energetic CBS Liaison Officer, Steve Nesbitt, had regrettably
decided to step down from his post for personal reasons and that we shall need to find a
replacement for this important position at the next AGM. In the meantime, the secretary
will continue to keep our CBS members circulated with reports of all our meetings, copies
of which will also be sent to Cage & Aviary Birds. Our Website Co-ordinator, Ghalib
Al-Nasser, will place all reports on the NCA website to keep everyone informed.
The date of the next management committee meeting was
agreed for 27th January, 2010.There being no other business, the Chairman closed the
meeting at 2.40pm.
The management committee of the National Council for Aviculture convened an
extra meeting on 28th October,2009 at its official business address in Davies
House, Northampton in order to deal with a series of events in which unfounded but
potentially damagingallegations against
officers of the NCA were made in letters, e-mails and in a public forum on the Feathered
In three instances on solicitors advice letters have been issued to the
authors of these unfounded allegations requiring withdrawal of the allegations and a
written apology. The fallacious statements have now been removed and written apologies
were received from two of the authors. The third is now being pursued by Knights
Solicitors who will be seeking both an apology and recompense for the time, money,
personal distress and inconvenience caused to the targets of the malignant comments.
It is a matter of particular regret that two delegates of the FBF, one of the four parent bodies which constitute
the NCA and who have as an organisation supported NCA policies to date, have been a party
to these false allegations and have betrayed
the confidentiality and trust of the management committee. Without consultation with his
own committee thecurrent FBF chairman has attempted to prevent the FBFs two most frequent attendeesat NCA meetings from doing so. The atmosphere thus
created has caused another valued FBF
delegate to resign, leaving the NCA without its CBS Liaison Officer, a post which the
holder had filled with distinction.
The ostensible catalyst for this series of attacks on the NCA is the
well-publicised application by the NCA to become a member of COM in 2010 which has been
ongoing for well over a year and which the COM executive have been pleased to accept. The
motives behind the application were to enhance the representation of UK bird keepers at
international level, to benefit where possible from the experience and expertise of our
fellow bird keepers in Europe in such matters as legislation and bird welfare and to
encourage and facilitate greater participation in European avicultural events and bird
exhibitions such as the World Show.
In pursuit of these aims and with the encouragement of the COM executive, the
NCA has entered into negotiations with the IOA, currently the sole COM-affiliated
organisation in the UK, to discuss mutually acceptable ways of co-operating as an enlarged
group representing UK bird keepers on COM. The IOA has for many years offered an excellent
transport service to UK exhibitors wishing to show at the World Show and also supplies to
its members COM-approvedclosed rings
which are required at all COM shows. Informal meetings are planned for the near future and
we hope soon to report positively on progress made.
NCA Management Committee 1st November 2009.
Report of NCA MC Meeting 19th August 2009
meeting on August 19 at Markfieldthe
Management Committee of the National Council for Aviculture was forced to make the saddest
decision required of it in recent years. In July, 2009 at Rotherham Magistrates
Court one of its Honorary Life Vice Presidents and former Chairman, Sean Fitzpatrick, who
had served the Council well for many years, admitted guilt and was sentenced for a number
of infringements of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Since the constitution of the
NCA specifies thatHonorary Life Vice
Presidents shall at all times uphold with honour and dignity the constitution, traditions
and policies of the NCA, the Management Committee was obliged at this stage to
remove Seans name from its list of officers.
repercussions of this case go far beyond one individual, however, since assumptions made
by some or even many bird keepers about close ringing and documentary proof of birds bred
in captivity may be ill-founded and others could be unwittingly in danger of contravening
the law. The regulations in this area and their interpretation are complex and liable to
change. As a result, the NCA is consulting with DEFRA through the SUN group and directly with the British Bird
Council with the aim of giving its member organisations clearer advice on how to proceed
safely in these matters.
more positive note the Management Committee was pleased to approve an application by the
FBL for the late George Coe to be listed in the Hall of Fame for his lifetime of service
to aviculture at national, regional and local levels. A new design was also approved for
NCA diplomas which are presented to new entrants on the NCAs Roll of Honour. See NCA
website (www.nca.uk.net) for details of our award
of the NCAs contribution to the Strategy for Bird Welfare it has made available on
its website a series of fact sheets about many aspects of bird care. Further welfare
sheets applicable to individual species or groups of species will be added over the coming
months. A new colourful, updated edition of the Welcome to Birdkeeping Booklet
is now with the printers and will be available for distribution from the NCA stand at the
National Bird Show of the Year at Stafford in October.
confirmed its acceptance of COMs invitation to take up membership from 1st January, 2010 and is in the process
of arranging talks with representatives of the IOA who, at present, are the sole members
of COM-GB and with whom the NCA would like to work for the benefit of UK bird keepers interested in the international
avicultural scene. The NCA will also be represented at the next World Show in Porto in January.
amendments to the NCAs constitution were approved for recommendation to the
membership at next years AGM.
The majority of these resulted from requests from affiliated CBSs and will allow greater
flexibility for such clubs to respond and contribute to the agenda of meetings. Our CBS
Liaison Officer, Steve Nesbitt, will be writing to all affiliated clubs in the near future
keeping them up to date.
Management Committee Report
24th June 2009
Two NCA awards were
approved at the latest Management Committee meeting held at Fieldhead Hotel, Markfield on 24th
The first was an NCA
Diploma and entry onto the Roll of Honour for Don and Irene Bardgett of the Waxbill Finch
Society for many years of service to the foreign bird fancy, in particular as society
secretaries and show secretaries, as UK first breeders of several species including the
Whiskered Lorikeet, and currently as joint breeding record officers and publicity officers
for the Waxbill Finch Society.
The second was a
posthumous recognition of the outstanding contribution made to aviculture by the late Ian
Hinze over a life time of bird keeping and breeding. He was the first UK breeder of the
Mali Firefinch and enjoyed a reputation far beyond the UK as a foreign bird specialist
through his many articles for Cage & Aviary Birds and other publications. His latest
book on Waxbills is due to be published in the near future. Ians name will be
entered into the Hall of Fame alongside many other legendary aviculturists of the past.
The Roll of Honour and Hall of Fame can be viewed on the NCA website at www.nca.uk.net as can details of all the NCAs award
NCA Chairman Dennis
Webster and Canary Council Chairman, Barry Mills attended the latest meeting of the Bird
Welfare Strategy Group in Coventry on 20th May at which the final draft of the
consultation document on bird welfare was agreed. Now the NCA is embarked on a rewrite of
its many welfare and advice sheets for bird keepers covering virtually every species, or
groups of species, kept in the UK today. For beginners to bird keeping, the NCA is also
producing a new edition of the colourful and practical guide Welcome to
Birdkeeping which advises on the needs of the more common breeds of birds kept in
the UK today and how they should be cared for.
An order has been placed
for a new NCA stand to help publicise the organisation and promote the hobby of bird
keeping. The new stand will be stocked with fact sheets and publications of interest to
the seasoned and would-be bird keeper alike. The new stand will make its debut at the Bird
Show of the Year in Stafford in October.
Steve Nesbitt of Grantham
CBS was appointed CBS Liaison Officer at the NCAs AGM in April and produced a
comprehensive written report of his first two months in office. Not wasting a moment in an
already busy life, Steve has been out and about talking to CBSs in his area and making
telephone and email contact with others further afield. Steve and other CBS members
attending the AGM drew attention to the need for more time and opportunity for CBSs to
respond and contribute to NCA policies and activities. As a result the Management
Committee reviewed and amended the timelines for contributions to AGM agendas and to the
conditions required for other general meetings. We hope that this will improve
communication between the NCA and its CBS members.
The next Management
Meeting will take place on 19th August and the next AGM on 24th April,2010.
National Council For AvicultureAnnual General Meeting Report
held its 54th Annual General Meeting at the Fieldhead Hotel, Markfield on 18th April, 2009 commencing at and attended by representatives of the four
parent bodies (British Bird Council, Budgerigar Society, The Canary Council and Foreign
Bird Federation) and affiliated Cage Bird Clubs.
Chairman, Dennis Webster (FBF/ZFS),
welcomed those attending to what he hoped would prove an informative and fruitful meeting.
Written reports were tabled by the Chairman, the Secretary, Dave Whittaker (BS), and the
Treasurer, George Booth (BS).
was a very satisfactory year for the NCA, the number of affiliating clubs rising to 105
and the number of clubs availing themselves of the NCA public liability insurance reached
over 70. In spite of the credit crunch, the NCAs funds remain healthy and a modest
excess of income over expenditure was achieved which allowed the Management Committee to
recommend no rise in subscriptions and affiliation fees for 2009/10.
discussion, the Management Committee has opted for the official status of the NCA to
remain as an unincorporated Association rather than a limited company or a registered charity, for example.
continues to contribute to the work of the Bird Welfare Strategy Committee and the
Chairman and Publicity Officer will be attending the next meeting in Coventry on 20th May when the results of
the consultation over the draft strategy document will be decided. Thereafter, the NCA
will be producing welfare guidelines for Exhibition Birds and Native & Foreign Species
in line with the principles of the agreed Strategy Document.
NCAs Exhibitor of the Year competitions were introduced in 2008 for CBS exhibitors
at affiliated clubs shows in all four sections of Canary, British, Budgerigar and
Foreign. Winners of Best in any of these sections were eligible to compete. Those
achieving Best in Section most frequently during the show season received an award. Tim
Ward of Shrewsbury CBS was the winner of the Canary Exhibitor of the Year and he was
presented with an engraved crystal bowl by NCA President, Dennis Norton at the end of the AGM.
Management Committee meeting held shortly after the AGM, the following officers were elected:
CBS Liaison Officer:Steve Nesbitt
(Foreign Bird Federation/Grantham CBS)
last position is a new office aimed at improving contact and communication with affiliated
CBSs who can benefit from their membership of the NCA through the insurance scheme, the
various awards and competitions, and through access to the NCA website, as well as having
access to advice on all aspects of aviculture.
wishing to affiliate to the NCA should visit our website (www.nca.uk.net)
or contact the Secretary at Davies House, SpringGardens, Northampton NN1
Tim Ward, Border fancier of Shrewsbury CBS,
receives his award as 'Canary Exhibitor of the Year' from NCA President, Dennis Norton.
makes Two Commitments to the Future February 2009
At its Management
Committee meeting on 18th February, 2009 the National Council for Aviculture made two
major commitments towards further development of the councils activities in support
of aviculture in the UK and Europe.
The first was an agreement
to give formal notification of its affiliation to COM during 2010 with a view to
supporting the World Show more extensively in 2011. At the same time the NCA has agreed to
adopt COMs six-year colour coded ring sequence. This decision follows communications
with COM over the past year and face-to-face discussions with the executive of COM at the
recent World Show.
The reason for the delay
in affiliation is that it will take a little time for one of the parent bodies that make
up the NCA to comply with the ring colour sequence. The World Budgerigar Organisation and
Budgerigar Society adopted this colour sequence some time ago; The Canary Council
adopted the six-year cycle in 2008 and the British Bird Councils rings
are already recognised by COM GB. The Foreign Bird Federation is progressing towards
adoption of the revised colour sequence. Closed rings of the correct colour are a
prerequisite for birds shown at all COM exhibitions.
Chairman Dennis Webster
commented: The NCA is seeking closer communication with our European neighbours
through COM in order that UK birdkeepers can benefit from their experience of European
legislation which seems more supportive of birdkeepers and encourages a more confident,
modern and forward-looking hobby than we currently enjoy in the UK. We see the NCAs
involvement within COM concentrating on policy and legislation nationally and
internationally for the benefit of birdkeepers. Our role will be complementary to the
excellent work already carried out by the IOA who run a COM-approved ring
service and facilitate the participation of UK exhibitors in COM World Shows.
We would hope that UK attendance at World Shows would increase with NCA affiliation.
The second major
commitment made on 18th February was to the continuing work of the Avian Welfare Strategy
Committee, which is striving to ensure that future secondary legislation to the Animal
Welfare Act of 2006 will support rather than restrict aviculture.
The Management Committee
considered the draft strategy document, which sets out the principles upon which welfare
guidelines for all birds kept for recreational purposes in the UK will be based and which
remains open for consultation and comment until 31st March 2009. Having made a number of
recommendations for the way in which detailed welfare guidelines for individual species
should be drawn up, the Management Committee approved the Strategy Document in principle.
The NCA urges all
organisations and individuals who have an interest in keeping birds for recreational
purposes to read and respond to this consultative document by 31st March. The document and
the contact for comment are available on this website: www.birdwelfarestrategy.org.uk .
Further business carried
out on 18th February
Work on welfare guidelines
for individual species is being planned commencing with a general guide to the
implications of bird keeping for people considering taking up the hobby.
professionally printed version of this booklet will be available at the AGM in April.
A new History section of the NCA website is to be developed over
time giving details of the organisations development since its inception in 1945.
A new section of the website will also be devoted to breeding
records such as that produced by the Severn Counties Foreign and British Bird Society.
Similar results from other societies would be welcome.
The new marketing display stand is to be ready for the AGM held at
on 18th April at the Field Head Hotel, Markfield, Leicestershire.
Well over 50 affiliated clubs are now taking part in the NCA
insurance scheme saving themselves in excess of £100 per year in many cases.
The winner of the NCAs Canary Breeder of The Year
Competition was declared as T. Ward, a border canary breeder from the Midlands, who will
be presented with an engraved piece of crystal at the AGM in April. The Breeder of the
Year in other sections (Foreign, British and Budgerigar) could not be declared because
none showed at more than one CBS show.
Bird Welfare Guidelines .... A Consultation
England Implementation Group (EIG) was set up by the Government following the introduction
of the Animal Welfare Act of 2006 with the purpose of formulating secondary legislation
governing the welfare of all animals in the UK. Leading national organisations with an
interest in animal welfare were invited to contribute to the drawing up of welfare
guidelines for the particular species, which they represented.
Consequently a committee for a Bird Welfare Strategy was set up in 2007 to propose
guidelines for all birds kept for recreational purposes in captivity in Great Britain.
That committee consists of representatives from the NCA, the Parrot Society UK,
The British Waterfowl Association, the Hawk Board, National Pigeon Association of Great
Britain, The Petcare Trust, the Poultry Club of Great Britain and the World Pheasant
Association. That committee has produced a document for consultation entitled "Avian
Strategy For Hobbyist Livestock and Pet Birds" which sets out the principles upon
which avian welfare guidelines will be based. Once this document is approved the
individual bird organisations will be responsible for producing welfare guidelines for
their particular species based upon the agreed principles.
Management Committee of the NCA has considered the draft document and, with some
recommendations for the way in which detailed welfare guidelines for individual species
should be drawn up, has approved it in principle.
organisations and individuals who have an interest in keeping birds for recreational
purposes should read and respond to that consultative document by 31st March 2009.