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Application for Club Affiliation & Public Liability Insurance Cover

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NCA Press Release October 2015

Recipients of the NCA Roll of Honour
Les Rance,, David Coombes and Keith Jones

Chris Smith, chairman of the National Council for Aviculture, opened a well-attended meeting of the NCA Management Committee at the Charnwood Arms Hotel, Coalville , Leicestershire on Wednesday 14th October, 2015.

Under matters arising from the minutes of the previous 4th July meeting the chairman reported very positive feedback  on the special diplomas distributed with rosettes to all affiliated clubs and societies marking the 70th year of the NCA’s existence and featured in all sections at the recent National Exhibition at Stafford.  In fact demand for these had exceeded the original print order and Secretary, Ghalib Al-Nasser, would be ordering more. For example Cork CBC society in celebrating their 90th Anniversary has bought 30 of our diplomas to award at their shows. It was also agreed to continue with a similar design next year.

Since the Parrot Society will be celebrating its own 50th anniversary next year and in recognition of its support for bird keeping in general and specifically its support for the National Exhibition the committee agreed to make mention of this on next year’s diplomas. Furthermore, the Awards Panel recommended that we enter on to the NCA Roll of Honour Les Rance, Keith Jones and David Coombes  as "organisers of the Parrot Society National Exhibition". This was unanimously agreed by the management committee as was the nomination of Dennis Brown, a well-known and respected BS member, to be included in the Hall of Fame.

Dennis Webster (Foreign Bird Federation)  reported progress on his search for posters of various bird species by the van Keulen  company of the Netherlands which would make attractive items for sale to the public. The chairman agreed to investigate this possibility further. Supplies of the Welcome to Birdkeeping  booklet remain healthy and will continue to be distributed free of charge to the public from the NCA stand. The Secretary reminded the meeting that the new table cloth commemorating our anniversary was on display at the NCA stand at the National Exhibition this October.

In his role as Treasurer, Ghalib Al-Nasser reported on the financial state of the NCA. In spite of the additional expense incurred to mark our 70th anniversary the organisation remains in good financial shape. The bulk of the funds are held in an investment bond which matures on 1st November and will need to be reinvested at the best interest rate available. The other “working accounts” remain healthy and are usefully “topped up” by the continued popularity of our insurance scheme as well as income from affiliations.

Discussion of the National Exhibition raised the question of what happened to the trophies that used to be presented at the “Old National”. The Chairman agreed to make enquiries with the editor of Cage Birds magazine.

President Bob Partridge and Chris Smith reported that the Law Commission report had still not been published but should be by the end of October. It is likely that the Wildlife Bill, which will seek to iron out anomalies in the existing legislation in this area, will wait on the publication of the Law Commission report. This Bill will be likely to have problems with European Legislation on such issues as the length of bird shows.

The Chairman reported on developments at the 9th July SUN meeting with DEFRA representatives which he attended. It is likely that there will be changes to the licensing rules and the consolidation of licensing activities in the Carlisle Office of DEFRA and a reduced amount at Bristol.

A review of the National Exhibition 2015 concluded that it had gone well with significant increases in some sections e.g. Fifes but the Yorkshire Canary section was cancelled as a result of a very difficult breeding season. If overall growth of numbers in the exhibition continues, this may cause capacity problems with staging. Use of local clubs’ staging was suggested. Problems with checking in and checking out were highlighted and these would be raised by the Chairman at the next National Exhibition consultation meeting.

The 2016 World Show will be held in Matosinhos, Portugal on the 21st—24th January. For conveying exhibits COM-UK will collaborate with their Irish counterparts. Simon Tamman will co-ordinate UK entries for COM-UK. Brian Hogg has been appointed to judge the posture canaries for which he was warmly congratulated by all present. It seems that the results will be recorded directly on a Tablet – illustrating how far the Europeans are ahead of the game! The entry fee is £15 per cage (this includes transport) and all exhibitors are charges £12 for the catalogue. Schedules will be on the COM-UK website shortly.

Under Any Other Business the Chairman reported that he will be attending an all-party discussion on Companion Animals on 26th November at the DEFRA Offices in Smiths Square. The discussion will be led by Peter Scott.

The next meeting will be the AGM followed by a Management Committee meeting on 9th April 2016.

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 The National Council for Aviculture administers an advantageous Public Liability Insurance Scheme which offers each society £5m of cover at a very reasonable premium. Every club needs PLI for its shows & monthly meetings. Without it you risk heavy financial claims against you in the event of accidents or injuries and most local authorities will not hire out premises unless you have £5m of PLI. Similarly, you may at some point need legal advice on matters relating to bird keeping and the NCA can put you in touch with experts in the field. Also all affiliated clubs receive rosettes annually for their shows. The PLI runs from 1st January to 31st December.

For more information about the PLI visit the NCA website ( and download the form or contact the NCA secretary Ghalib Al-Nasser for further information (01787 282332 or

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The New Table Cloth in Action - October 2015

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Three Score Years and Ten for the NCA.

At its latest meeting at the Fieldhead Hotel, Markfield on 4th July 2015 the Chairman of the NCA management committee, Chris Smith, welcomed the delegates from the four parent bodies, in particular, John Cosby, who was representing the Budgerigar Society for the first time.

The management committee of the NCA authorised the printing of special diplomas to be distributed to all its affiliated clubs and to every section of the National Exhibition at Stafford in October. These “Birthday Diplomas” [see illustration] commemorate the NCA’s 70th year representing bird keepers in the UK. and it was suggested that non-affiliated CBS’s could purchase them for 50p each plus postage.

Special diplomas

The NCA stand at the National will also be sporting a newly commissioned tablecloth featuring the logos of the NCA and its four parent bodies: the Budgerigar Society, the Canary Council, the British Bird Council and the Foreign Bird Federation.

The newly commissioned tablecloth

Dennis Webster, minutes secretary and archivist is currently researching the history of the NCA’s first 70 years which will be published later in the year on the NCA website. Back copies of Cage and Aviary Birds magazines are proving a most fruitful source of material. For example, the issue of July 2 1994 reports on page 3 how the National Council for Aviculture and the British Waterfowl Association were encouraged by the Department of the Environment to form a “Sustainable User Network”. Oliver Tynan of the BWA wrote to 25 associations to join this new organisation, including the Royal Horticultural Society, the Fur Trade, the British Association of Shooting and Conservation, the Zoo Federation and the Parrot Society.

Now, some 21 years later, the S.U.N continues its valuable work representing a wide range of organisations interested in CITES, the criteria and listing of specific species, the implementation of and possible changes to present law, and periodic reviews of controls and research studies.

NCA chairman, Chris Smith, reported that he would be attending the SUN meeting with DEFRA in Bristol on 9th July. The data generated by the recent Consultation is still being analysed, but no changes have been decided as yet. A future meeting with Lord de Mauley – involved with the licensing of Bird Shows etc - is being arranged. But the bottom line is that we are still awaiting decisions on a number of issues. Chris   mentioned that the Law Commission is proposing to scrap all existing wildlife legislation and replace it with new legislation! Eternal vigilance remains the order of the day.

2015 is also the 90th year of existence of the Budgerigar Society, and Chris Smith wrote a letter of congratulation which was well received, and a positive response has been received from Grant Findlay, BS Administrator.

2016 will be the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Parrot Society, and plans are underway for the NCA to commemorate this appropriately.

Treasurer, Ghalib-Al-Nasser, reported that since the last meeting in April  another four societies had applied  for  affiliation and insurance and a further two had applied for insurance only. The financial position remained sound. Payment to the insurance company was in December and income from the clubs taking insurance arrives in the new  year so our current finances are some £5K   more than in April.

A letter from the BS had been received asking that since individual Parent Bodies (PB) each have 3 votes, why cannot 1 delegate deliver all 3 votes instead of (Rule 10 (i)) each PB needing 3 delegates to make full use of the three votes. After much discussion it was agreed that after due consideration the management committee (MC) consider that the present system is fair, and in the case where an individual PB cannot send its nominated MC members, deputies for these nominated MC members are allowed. Also it was considered that the suggested change might impact on rule 13 (vi) by giving problems with maintaining a quorum if only one delegate has the power to vote. 

Awards Panel. The secretary reported that he had received a letter from Ballymoney Ornithological Association (Northern Ireland) applying for Long Service Awards, as follows: 

Gold:  James Hill (Secretary), Mrs Dorothy Hill, Patrick McClements, and Sam Barkley. 

Bronze:  David Hanna, David Wright, and Colin Hill. 

An application had also been received from the Crested Budgerigar Club requesting: 

Gold: Mick Widdowson, Chris Hawkins, and Rod & Sue Clarke 

All these awards were approved. 

Rod & Sue Clarke wearing their Gold Long Service Medals 

Hall of Fame. Three recently deceased fanciers were put forward for inclusion into the Hall of Fame: 

George Booth -  past Chairman of the BS and past Treasurer of the NCA 

Barrie Terry – 35 years Chairman at Maidstone and the London Interclub 

Jimmy Rutter – also involved with the London Interclub for many years. 

It was agreed that all three were worthy of a place in the Hall of Fame. 

Chairman Chris Smith reported that this was the second meeting he and the Secretary/Treasurer had attended at the Fieldhead Hotel that day. The first had been a meeting of COM-UK which was “on track” and arrangements underway for the 2016 World Show.

The 2015 World Show had been a success (more birds, more exhibitors, more medals). From the conveyers point of view the only disappointment was that the show cages were not ready when they arrived at the show hall with the birds. It has many times now been observed that from over 20 000 birds on display a very small number do die during the show, but most birds return fitter than when they went! For the 2016 show in Portugal, the UK will team up with Ireland, and the cost will be £3,000, split between the two countries.

The chairman also reported that during the morning meeting, the COM-UK Treasurer had resigned, and that Ghalib Al-Nasser had kindly agreed to take over that position.

There being no other business the chairman closed the meeting at 4.30pm 

Date of Next Meeting. The next management committee meeting will be held at the Charnwood Arms Hotel on 14th October 2015, commencing at 10.30 am.

For details of club insurance, badges, diplomas, long service medals and other awards please contact NCA Secretary/Treasurer Ghalib Al-Nasser. Evenstar, Pinkuah Lane, Pentlow, Sudbury CO10 7JW  Tel: 01787 282332  Email:   NCA website:

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NCA AGM 2015         70 Years Representing and Defending U.K. Bird Keepers


NCA Management Committee who attended the 2015 AGM

 Chairman Chris Smith commenced the 2015 Annual General Meeting of the National Council for Aviculture at 11am on Saturday, 11th April at the Charnwood Arms Hotel, Coalville, Leicestershire. The organisation thus commenced its 70th year of representing the UK’s bird keepers. Members of all four parent bodies (the Canary Council, the Budgerigar Society, The Foreign Bird Federation and the British Bird Council) and representatives of affiliated clubs were in attendance.

In his opening remarks and in a written report distributed before the meeting the chairman reflected on the irony that in its first year, 1945, the NCA was grappling with government regulations regarding the importation of seed in the aftermath of the Second World War and now, 70 years later, the NCA is once again “grappling with government” – both UK and European - over regulations affecting the species we are allowed to keep, breed and exhibit.

Though the UK is renowned for its love of pets of all kinds there are those activists who would dearly like to restrict or prevent any form of pet-keeping and determinedly lobby the European Parliament and our own government to that end including the keeping of birds of all kinds. The latest trend is to demand “white lists” of the species which may be kept and to exclude all others. The justification given is to curb the exotic pet trade but there are implications for the trading and keeping of familiar pet species including birds. Cancellations of recent reptile events in the UK are evidence of the effectiveness of such lobbying. The chairman urged members of all the parent bodies to sign the “handsoffmyhobby” campaign to resist this trend.

Chris Smith also offered his congratulations to those UK exhibitors at the January World Show in Rosemalen this year especially NCA Secretary, Ghalib Al-Nasser, who won 4 gold and 3 silver medals with his budgerigars and Brian Hogg, Canary Council Chairman, who won a silver. During the two weeks in which the Chairman himself acted as a conveyor of UK birds to the 2015 World Show he gained a real insight to the workings of this impressive event and to the effort involved by all who help stage it every year. One less attractive aspect of the experience was the caging and display of some birds in the trades sales section of the World Show where numbers of birds in display cases or cages seemed sometimes excessive. It was decided to raise this issue through C.O.M.UK with the World Show organisers at C.O.M.

Written reports from the Secretary and Treasurer, Ghalib Al-Nasser, had been distributed before the meeting together with an Income and Expenditure Account for the calendar year 2014. He was pleased to report a much smaller loss on the year than in 2013. This was explained in part by the increase in numbers of affiliated clubs and others taking up the excellent NCA Public Liability Insurance policy which covers all meetings, shows and activities of clubs who purchase it. Income has also been secured from sale of publications, e.g. ‘Caring For Canaries’, and the new NCA badges which are available @£3 + 70p p&p.

A larger team of birds went to the World Show in 2015 and we hope for a further increase in 2016 when the show is taking place in Matosinhos, Portugal, open to the public 21st-24th January 2016.

Since the 2014 AGM Brian Byles has been added to the NCA Hall of Fame and George & Jill Lewsey entered onto the Roll of Honour. Long Service Awards have been approved for members of City of Bath CBS, Grantham CBS, Preston CBS and the Zebra Finch Society.

Outgoing President Dennis Webster of the Foreign Bird Federation thanked the NCA for the honour of electing him to serve as President over the past year. It had been another significant year for us in that more clubs have affiliated to the NCA to take advantage of the insurance scheme and other protections offered as we face potential legislative threats from the “antis” in the UK and Europe. Dennis wished newly-elected President Bob Partridge of the British Bird Council all the best for the year ahead and handed over the official insignia of office. Bob thanked the NCA for the trust placed in him and promised that while continuing to fight for the rights of British Bird keepers he would work for the whole bird keeping fraternity during his year of office.

Two minor rule changes concerning the voting powers of Honorary Life Vice Presidents were approved unanimously. The outgoing President was awarded status as an Honorary Life Vice President.

The date and venue of the next Annual General Meeting were agreed as:  Saturday, 9th April 2016 at 11am at the Charnwood Arms Hotel.

Details of the NCA constitution, award scheme, history, meetings and all other NCA activities can be found on the NCA website (

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The aptly named Bob Partridge is no stranger to high office within the bird keeping world. He is a founder member of the British Bird Council which came into being in 1972 and is currently its President following on from his eminent predecessor, the late, great Victor Carr. Bob has spent a lifetime keeping birds of all varieties from poultry, to pigeons, to foreign birds - including some rare North American specimens which he imported under licence to establish breeding programmes in the UK – but throughout he has had a soft spot for native species being especially fond of Redpolls and Greenfinches. In common with many exhibitors Bob likes “a good ’un” – a bird of good type and size. He is an accomplished hybridiser and remembers with pride winning the Best Mule Hybrid at the English National and Scottish National Exhibitions back in 1981/2 with a cock canary x crossbill hen mule. This unusual bird caught the attention of Eric Peake, the renowned artist, who painted its picture from which subsequently prints were made and sold. Bob’s expertise and knowledge of every aspect of British Birds and the legislation that affects them makes him a perfect representative for the fancy when dealing with DEFRA and European legislation.

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Following the Annual General Meeting of the NCA the Management Committee held its first meeting of the new year at which the following officers were elected:

Chairman:  Chris Smith  (Fife Federation)

Vice-Chair and Minute Secretary: Dennis Webster  (Foreign Bird Federation)

Secretary, Treasurer and Web-site Manager:  Ghalib Al-Nasser (Budgerigar Society)

Publicity Officer:  Barry Mills (Canary Council)

Awards Panel:  Robb Brown (British Bird Council), Brian Hogg (Canary Council), Dave Paine (Foreign Bird Federation) and Roger Carr (Budgerigar Society).

The post of CBS Liaison Officer remains unfilled and Chris Smith, Chairman, agreed to review the job description and make an announcement through Cage & Aviary Birds.

It was agreed as part of the celebration of our 70th year anniversary to research and extend the history section of the NCA web-site; to issue special 70th anniversary rosettes to all affiliated clubs; to design a special set of diplomas for presentation in each section at the National Exhibition and possibly diplomas for affiliated clubs to use at their shows. It was also noted that there is to be a section at the National Exhibition this year for London Fancy canaries.

The Awards Panel discussed and approved the following:

Hall of Fame: Mick Watton to be entered into the Hall of Fame after a lifetime of service to aviculture.

NCA Long Service Badges:

A letter received from The Budgerigar Society recommending the following:

Gold: Ghalib Al-Nasser, Jeff Atwood, Charlie Bowman, Ray Brown, Grant Findlay, Robert Francis, Donald McCallum, Greg Norris, Eric Peake, Dave Taylor, Ken Whiting and Alec Woan.

Silver: Janice Al-Nasser, Dave Hislop, Peter Hutchinson, Beverley Hutt and Maurice Roberts.

Bronze: Gordon Grist and Ronald Simpson.

Arrangements were underway for staffing the NCA stand at the National Exhibition and other events. The Chairman requested further additions to the range of purchasable items from the NCA stand. In addition to the free “Welcome to Bird Keeping” booklets there were several publications from the Canary Council and Yorkshire Canary Club, plus the new NCA badge (@ £3 plus 70p P&P from NCA Secretary).


Following the success of the 2015 World Show it was hoped to increase numbers of birds and exhibitors from the UK for the 2016 show at Matosinhos, Portugal, open to the public from 21st to 24th January 2016.

Date and venue of next meetings: Saturday July 4th starting at 14.00 (following the COM-UK meeting at the Fieldhead Hotel, Markfield) and Wednesday 14th October at 10.30  at the Charnwood Arms Hotel, Coalville.

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New Year     -     New Cover

All club secretaries and other officers making New Year resolutions should include in their list renewal or commencement of Third Party Liability Insurance which provides £5m of cover throughout 2015 for all your meetings, club nights, members’ shows and open shows – in fact all your club’s activities.

This essential cover is available through the National Council for Aviculture by application to Ghalib Al-Nasser, Secretary & Treasurer, Evenstar, Pinkuah Lane, Pentlow, Sudbury CO10 7JW, England. Tel: 01787 282332 or email:

A one-off premium of £50 secures a policy which runs from 1st January to 31st December. For an additional £15 you can affiliate to and support the NCA which represents all cage bird  enthusiasts at national level and gives you access to the NCA’s awards scheme, plus rosettes for your annual show, help with specialist legal advice on matters relating to aviculture and the chance to purchase a new, smart badge at a cost of £3 plus 70p p&p. All cheques payable to the  National Council for Aviculture.

Please see the NCA website for further details of all this and more.

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 NCA Privacy Policy

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