Show Cage Training Regulations
Here's important news for all fanciers who exhibit
birds and train them. Natural England is seeking views on a number of proposals and topics
relating to the General and Class Licenses issued under wildlife legislation and it closes
on 19th May 2014. The consultation paper and supporting documentation are available online
Responses should be sent electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org
or in writing to Natural England General Licence Consultation, c/o Wildlife Licensing,
Temple, Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol BS1 6EB.
Hidden away in the middle of the document at item
18 is a proposal to amend the regulation with regard to keeping of birds in show cages for
training purposes. Currently under General Licence WML-GL-16, birds can be confined in
show cages (the dimensions of which do not satisfy the requirements of section 8(1) of the
Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) for the purposes of training birds for public
exhibition and competition. Currently the conditions of this General Licence restrict the
confinement of birds within show cages to a maximum of one hour in any period of 24 hours.
(The Act contains an exception to this restriction during public exhibition or competition
up to 72 hours)
It is considered that one hour may be too short
and could potentially lead to increased stress to birds, by more frequent movement in and
out of cages, and less time to acclimatise to a cage.
Natural England are seeking views on amending this
period of time birds can be confined in a show cage to either 1 hour, or 3 hours or 6
The National Council for Aviculture will consider
this proposition at its meeting on 5th April and the Canary Council at its meeting on 4th
May. Chairman of the NCA, Chris Smith, suggests that other parts of the fancy should also
consider this and make their views known to Natural England and this includes all Cage
Bird Societies. There are undoubtedly welfare benefits to be accrued with a longer period
of time but I would have concerns if this were carried out on a daily basis. One of the
least stressful ways to get birds used to a show cage is to hang a cage off the stock cage
door and provide tit-bits to entice them in and out at their leisure.
It is a pity this consultation is not part of the
DEFRA consultation document expected later this year on the need for documentary evidence
and the ringing review which will undoubtedly cost the taxpayer further, again no joined
up working from the Policy makers and their agencies.