Committee Meeting - Coalville, 11th October 2017
At the meeting of the NCA Management Committee
held in Coalville on 11th October, 2017 the talk was very
much of the National Exhibition which had been held on the previous
weekend at the Stafford show ground. Members present had been
involved in the UK’s largest bird exhibition and were pleased with
the even greater interest in it evidenced by the approximately 1300
extra tickets/wristbands issued in 2017 over 2016.
The atmosphere of the exhibition had been “busy
and business-like” with each of the participating clubs managing
their sections, many with larger numbers of entries this year.
Roving reporters Laura Welch and Laura Keens made sure that all
aspects of the competitions and their winners within the show were
recorded in word and film, while editor Rob Innes was kept more than
busy talking to readers and contributors to C&AB on the C&AB stand
in the main hall.
NCA President, Bev Hutt and Canary Council
Chairman, Barry Mills, fulfilled a similar function on the NCA stand
in the balcony, issuing “Welcome to Bird Keeping” booklets, NCA
badges and Breeder’s registers to the many visitors to their stand.
Both repaired later to the canary section of the exhibition to
assist with presentations of prizes for Best in Show, Best Canary in
Show and Best Junior Exhibit. It was noted that space in this area
was very limited and would be better placed in the Foreign,
Budgerigar and British Bird exhibition area where the public might
also witness the presentations.
In looking to the future it was confirmed that
the existing NCA stand needed refurbishment or replacement, the
current stand having served well for five years. Its replacement
will be of the “pop-up” banner type which is easier to transport,
erect and dismantle.
Chairman, Chris Smith, reported that interest is
growing in possibly extending the National to a two-day show.
Assuming the exhibition area could be made available over two full
days, which is by no means guaranteed, there would also be increased
costs which will need to be discussed with the Parrot Society and
the participating clubs. Chris Smith agreed to send a letter to the
Parrot Society outlining a possible timetable for a two-day show,
confirming the NCA’s on-going support for the National and
suggesting ways in which additional costs could be met. A further
suggestion was to move the show to December. In a similar vein
Barry Mills reported that, having spoken to Les Rance at the show,
he would be making a formal application on behalf of the Yorkshire
Canary Club to run a Yorkshire Canary section at the National in
2018, this section having been absent for some years.
The NCA/CC ringing scheme is proceeding, its
initial target audience being canary breeders who exhibit at the
World Show. An official announcement will be made through C&AB, the
CC and NCA websites and the canary Facebook page. The proposed NCA
Facebook page and website improvement will be discussed at the next
meeting on 9th December when CBS Liaison Officer, Adam
Kendall and a colleague with IT expertise will present ideas for the
committee to consider.
The bio-security information referred to at the
last MC meeting had been circulated to all affiliated clubs and put
on the website. It has been implemented at some shows but it was
noted that it had not been implemented at the 2017 National
Ghalib Al-Nasser, NCA Secretary & Treasurer, was
pleased to report a continuing uptake of the insurance scheme
currently being supplied to 154 clubs. The cost of PLI cover of £5m
for all of a club’s annual activities, plus NCA affiliation, is £65.
Application forms are available to download from the NCA website.
Rosettes for all affiliated clubs, amounting to over £350, had been
distributed and paid for. Ghalib’s detailed summary of the accounts
confirmed the NCA’s financial position remains sound.
Chairman, Chris Smith, reported that the next
CITES Sustainable Users Group (CSUG) meeting with DEFRA is scheduled
for 7th November, all agenda items to be submitted by 20th
October. Dominic Whitmee, a former official with DEFRA is now at
OATA ( The Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association) and is expected to
raise again the likely changes that will take place post-Brexit, and
also any charges that may be made for transportation of livestock
and plants at borders. Interestingly, under CITES it is understood
that Poland has persuaded the EU to put the American Buffalo on the
alien list! Chris wants to raise the question of any changes
proposed for the Countryside and Wildlife Act and any effects this
might have on holding shows. There also remains no resolution of the
ring size issue with British Birds.
Prior to the next
Management Committee meeting on 9th December at 2pm at
the Fieldhead Hotel, Markfield there will be a meeting of COM-UK
regarding the World Show. Entry forms for the show are available to
download from the COM-UK website www.comuk.co.uk. Barry Mills asked
again about the possible review of the Yorkshire Canary Standard put
forward by Turkey but not supported by the UK thus opening up the
possibility of one standard in Europe and another in the UK. It was
explained that no change can happen before a meeting of the OMJ
Technical Committee in September, 2018. Requests have been made to
see what the proposed revised Standard and visual image look like,
so far without success. It was suggested that UK Yorkie breeders
should exhibit at World Shows.
Having confirmed the date of next year’s AGM as 7th
April, 2018 followed by a Management Committee meeting, the Chairman
closed the meeting.
International and National Bird Matters
July was a busy day for officials of COM/UK and NCA (National
Council for Aviculture) when the former held its AGM in the morning
and the management committee of the latter held a business meeting
in the afternoon at the Fieldhead Hotel, Markham, Leicestershire.
Full details of the
COM/UK AGM will be published separately but the main items of
business included: appointment of officers for the next three-year
period (Richard Lumley, President; Chris Smith and Alan Robinson,
Vice-Presidents; Ghalib Al-Nasser, Secretary; Simon Tammam,
Treasurer; Brian Hogg and Gary Mann, Committee members. A full
report of the 2016 World Show has appeared in Cage & Aviary Birds
showing the increased number of UK exhibitors, entries and medals.
Conveying birds to the 2018 World Show will again be shared with
COM-Eire with help offered for exhibitors in southern England by
High Wycombe CBS who have put together their own collection system.
It was also agreed to consult with the Zebra Finch Society and the
National Bengalese Fanciers Association to request formally through
COM/UK standards for Zebra Finches and Bengalese at COM shows.
afternoon meeting of the NCA management committee under the
chairmanship of Chris Smith commenced at 14.10. Items covered
include the following:
The new NCA/CC Ring
scheme proposed at the last meeting has now been agreed with the
Canary Council. Chris Smith will administer the scheme and a
detailed announcement will be issued in September via Cage & Aviary
Birds. Canary Council Chairman, Barry Mills, welcomed the new ring
scheme which will strengthen the link between both organisations and
offer a new service to all canary sections and NCA-affiliated
The on-going search for a
definitive description of Champion and Novice Show Status remains
unresolved since each canary section and indeed other varieties have
their own specific preferences which can also change from time to
time. Where a distinction between champion and novice persists it is
usually based on either the number of years an exhibitor has been
showing successfully or on the number of wins over successive show
seasons. Unless and until a common definition can be agreed by all
canary sections would-be exhibitors should consult with the canary
section specialist organisation.
CBS Liaison Officer, Adam
Kendall, was unable to attend the meeting due to work commitments
but had written to the secretary about progress made on plans to
update the NCA website and create a Facebook page. It was agreed to
invite Adam and his IT specialist contact to make a presentation at
the next meeting.
The revised General
Licence to arrange a bird gathering (fair, market, show, exhibition)
came into effect on 15th May 2017 as reported in C&AB on
28 June 2017. All show secretaries are advised to consult the
official DEFRA website for details of the new licence and how to
notify the appropriate Animal Plant Health Agency (APHA) at least 7
days before the event occurs. Bio-security is a key element of the
general licence and it was agreed to recommend that all bird shows
follow the Budgerigar Society’s long-established bio-security
regime. This can be found on the BS website: www.budgerigarsociety.com
Secretary and Treasurer,
Ghalib Al-Nasser, presented a sound financial report which had been
helped by the increase in uptake of the NCA’s public liability
insurance scheme offering cover of £5m to participating societies
for all their activities, shows and meetings throughout the year.
145 individual clubs are currently benefitting from this scheme.
This increase in numbers also increases the cost of cover for the
NCA so, as agreed at the AGM on 8th April 2017, from 2018
the proposed premium of £65 per annum will include NCA affiliation
and public liability insurance for all those taking part in the
In his DEFRA update
Chris Smith reported that the next planned meeting is scheduled
for 3rd August. Since African Grey Parrots have been
moved to CITES 1, DEFRA are experiencing a problem with a backlog of
applications for registration. A particular problem arises because
in the case of many older birds there is no original paper-trail. At
present there is still no post-Brexit guidance from DEFRA.
Bob Partridge reported
that it was possible that new Regulations will be placed before
Parliament in October, but he had presently been unable to obtain
information on possible content. He also reported on discussions
with DEFRA and Natural England. NE do not seem to be listening to
arguments on larger ring sizes for the larger races and BP promised
to continue to ask for evidence that the present GL15 General
License conditions are being transgressed. It was also reported that
the RSPCA are again seeking police powers. It is difficult to see
how they can act as both investigator and prosecutor.
NCA Stand at the Surrey
County Show proved successful with many visitors asking questions
and taking free copies of the “Welcome to Birdkeeping” booklet.
Brian Hogg is sourcing a supply of pop-up display banners for NCA
use at future shows and exhibitions. NCA President Bev Hutt offered
to staff the stand during the morning of the National Exhibition
Gold Long-service Badges
had been requested by the North Lincolnshire Foreign Bird Society
for Keith and Pat Garner who have been active members and holders of
numerous club positions for almost fifty years. The gold awards
were agreed unanimously. [Please see the NCA website for details of
how to apply for long service awards
Under Any Other Business
the issue was raised of ‘neighbours’ suggesting that keeping more
than 12 birds at a property (council or private) constitutes a
“change of use”. This was being applied to a small bird rescue
organisation. Doubts of the legality of this were expressed by
several management committee members. The chairman agreed to
investigate and respond.
The next meeting of the
NCA management committee will take place at the Charnwood Arms
Hotel, Coalville, on Wednesday 11th October, starting at
National Council for Aviculture
2017 Annual General Meeting
At the NCA AGM held on
Saturday 8th April 2017 at the Charnwood Arms Hotel,
Coalville, Chairman, Chris Smith, delighted the members present by
announcing that contrary to his previous intention to retire from
the post of chairman he had reconsidered his position and had
decided to serve another three year term of office. There being no
other nominations Chris was re-elected Chairman unopposed.
The reasons for his
decision were the challenges to bird keeping following the Brexit
result of the recent referendum. These include possible changes to
border controls affecting movement of birds to and from the UK;
the on-going issue of ring sizes for British Native species; the
possibility of bird keepers needing to register and other
legislation affecting bird keepers, breeders and exhibitors.
Unity within the fancy at
this time is paramount to resist any negative impact of future
legislation. Given that DEFRA and Natural England will only deal
with national bodies rather than individual associations it is
essential that support for the NCA’s parent bodies (the Budgerigar
Society, The British Bird Council, The Canary Council and The
Foreign Bird Federation) remains strong. This is particularly true
of the Canary Council in view of COM’s apparently cavalier attitude
to the changing of breed standards in contradiction of its own
constitutional obligation to preserve the right of countries of
origin to control breed standards. The Lizard Canary Association has
already suffered this interference and a similar move is underway to
amend the Yorkshire Canary model. The YCC has already copyrighted
the model, standard and images and will resist change unless its
members agree to any change. This issue and others including an NCA
ring scheme via the CC to be raised at Canary Council AGM on 7th
Chris stressed the need
for the NCA to continue or increase its support for the “National”
by offering 5 tier rosettes for best in each section plus a trophy
for best in show. Regarding the World Show he congratulated COM-UK
on gaining a record number of medals this year. High Wycombe and
South Bucks have equipped themselves to be able to exhibit
independently in Continental Europe.
Al-Nasser presented a positive balance sheet for the past year with
income exceeding expenditure by almost £450. Whilst income from
sales of badges and diplomas has dropped demand for the NCA public
liability insurance scheme has increased substantially so that a
record 128 specialist clubs and CBSs have applied so far this
year. In the subsequent management committee meeting after the AGM
it was agreed that from 2018 onwards affiliation and insurance would
only be offered jointly @ £65.
In his role as Secretary
Ghalib reported on the four meetings held in the past year and the
ongoing concern with DEFRA/SUN developments and the contentious ring
size issue for British Native Birds which remains unresolved. More
positively COM-UK had increased its entry to 229 birds from 39
exhibitors at the World Show in Almeria, Spain resulting in 14 gold,
8 silver and 5 bronze medals – the highest tally in COM-UK’s
history. The show attracted an entry of £25,953 from 3,124
exhibitors coming from 22 countries.
Since the last AGM Colin
O’Hara, Bryan Reed, Dave Ross, John and Val Ward and Dennis Webster
have been added to the NCA Roll of Honour, and Ernie Gallimore,
Chris Allaway and Roy Stringer to the Hall of Fame.
It was a particular
pleasure to create history by inaugurating Bev Hutt of the BS as the
NCA’s first female President. Brian Hogg as outgoing President
became a Life Vice President and handed Bev the presidential chain
of office and Chris Smith, Chairman, welcomed Bev to the highest
office of the organisation to which she replied graciously that this
was an honour she had never expected and she will do all she can in
the year ahead to further the cause of bird keeping. (A separate
report of Bev’s inauguration and career in bird keeping will appear
in C&AB soon). The President Elect for 2017 was confirmed as Dave
Paine proposed by the Foreign Bird Federation.
Other officers were
re-elected as follows:
Chairman: Chris Smith
(for 3 years until 2020)
Vice-Chair and Minute
Secretary: Dennis Webster
CBS Liaison Officer:
Awards Panel: Robb
Brown, John Cosby, Brian Hogg, Dave Paine.
Representatives on the Management Committee:
BBC: Bob Partridge,
Robb Brown, Craig Walker, Julie Walker.
CC: Brian Hogg, Terry
Salt, Saviour Camilleri, Barry Mills.
Al-Nasser, Beverley Hutt, John Cosby, Maurice Roberts.
FBF: Dave Paine,
Graham Lee, Dennis Webster.
Adam Kendell, CBS Liaison
Officer, reported that he would shortly be organising a Facebook
page for the NCA. He asked also that other publicity methods be
considered e.g. a U-tube channel and an interactive website listing
societies by area to enable new fanciers to locate local clubs. The
current website needs updating by a good web designer, if possible
with bird keeping experience. The hunt for such an individual is on.
Chairman, Chris Smith,
reported that British Bird Council representatives Robb Brown, Bob
Partridge and Alan Robinson have attended meetings with Natural
England on a range of topics such as General vs Class licenses,
breeder and exhibitor registration etc. but have made very little
progress. Chris had been asked to write to the DEFRA Parliamentary
Under Secretary responsible for Natural England pointing out our
problems with Natural England proposals. Neither Chris, Bob nor
Robb were able to attend the next SUN/DEFRA meeting scheduled for 19th
April. Post-Brexit it is likely that current EU rules on livestock
related issues will be accepted by the UK with only minor changes.
It was agreed to purchase
a new, more portable display stand for exhibitions and pet fairs.
Brian Hogg undertook to arrange this.
Awards nominations had
been received from several societies for long service badges which
the Awards Panel approved: Hetton & Houghton CBS: Ernie Scochern
(gold), Fred Baker (gold), and Alan Barker (gold). NE Lizard Canary
Club: J.Dave Ross (gold); Southend & District B&FBS: Jan Hill
(bronze); Gainsborough CBS: Doug Salt (gold), Roy Broadbent (gold),
Mick Snell (bronze) Keith Jackson (bronze), Mick Thompson (bronze),
Kim Hung (bronze).
COM-UK reported that the
next World Show of the Southern Hemisphere will be held in Cuba in
July. Graham Lee will be the COM-UK representative. The AGM of
COM-UK will be held in July and in this new cycle the NCA
representation will be reduced from four to three and the IOA will
increase from three to four with the IOA taking the presidency. The
NCA trio will be Chris Smith, Ghalib Al-Nasser and Brian Hogg.
CITES have asked through
COM for all ring issuing authorities to include a country
designation on all closed rings. This could represent a space
problem for UK ring issuers.
The next Annual General
Meeting will be held on 7th April 2018 at the Charnwood
Arms Hotel commencing at 10.30am.
The next management
committee meeting will be held on Saturday, 22nd July at
the Fieldhead Hotel, Markfield starting at 2 o’clock (following the
COM-UK meeting in the morning)
Calling All Club Secretaries ! Run
A reminder from the NCA
(National Council for Aviculture) to all conscientious club
secretaries -especially those who have previously secured Public
Liability Insurance through the now defunct Foreign Bird
Association- that you can secure £5m of public liability insurance
covering all your club’s activities (shows, meetings, fund-raising
activities or – Heaven forefend – the negligence of your club’s
officers leading to damage to any third party or their property)
from January to 31st December 2017.
The NCA provides this
cover through Mead Sport and Leisure Ltd at a very competitive
premium of £65 which includes NCA affiliation entitling your club
to 4 rosettes/diplomas for your club’s show, access to legal
advice, the support of our CBS Liaison Officer, Adam Kendall, the
NCA’s long service awards, membership badges, the Hall of Fame and
Roll of Honour. The NCA represents all cage bird fanciers at
national level with DEFRA protecting your interests and our hobby in
the ever-changing circumstances of BREXIT.
Simply go to our website
www.nca.uk.net and on the home page click on the banner
“Application for Club Affiliation & Public Liability Insurance” and
you can download the simple form which you should complete and send
with a cheque payable to the NCA and your email address for an
electronic reply or an S.A.E. for hard copy reply by post.
Alternatively, send your request for a form with an S.A.E. to the
NCA Secretary, Ghalib Al-Nasser, Evenstar, Pinkuah Lane, Pentlow,
Sudbury CO10 7JW.
Get the security of PLI
cover for your club now…………you know it makes sense.
The NCA was sad to read
of the demise of the Foreign Bird Association which is being wound
up at the end of this year. For those who have used the FBA’s third
party public liability insurance scheme which ends on 9th January
2017 and wish to find a replacement provider please visit the NCA
for details of our insurance scheme offering £5m of Public Liability
Insurance cover not only for your annual shows but all your club’s
activities including meetings, official fund-raising and social
events, members’ shows etc. 12 months PLI cover costs £50, NCA
affiliation costs £20, or £65 for both. Because this insurance
covers all your activities throughout the year apply a.s.a.p. The
insurance application form can be downloaded for free from the NCA
All our affiliated CBSs
will receive 4 diplomas and 4 rosettes for their own mixed shows
while Budgerigar & Foreign Clubs will receive 2 of each.