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NCA News – October 2016


Dennis Webster receiving his NCA Roll of Honour certificate from President Brian Hogg with Chairman Chris Smith

At the latest  meeting of the management committee of the National Council for Aviculture held just three days after the 2016 National exhibition at Stafford discussion and planning centred around the success of this year’s National and its future development.

Once again the Parrot Society’s organising team and the clubs supporting the exhibition are to be congratulated on their sterling work to put together a show of this size in the limited time available. The Fife section, of course, excelled itself by staging over 1100 exhibits to keep their 6 judges busy for most of the morning. But there were encouraging numbers in all sections and many magnificent exhibits to admire. The inclusion of a number of European judges in various sections also added a welcome international aspect to the competition and there were indeed many exhibits and visitors from Europe enjoying the event.

The introduction of a Best in Show trophy by the NCA with the generous sponsorship of Ray and Denise Howells of Birds and Things proved a winner and generated a lot of interest from the public and a worthy challenge for the judging panel. Eric Michie’s adult white Java cock goes down in history as the first to win  the crystal rose bowl at the “modern” National exhibition. The purchase of a Best in Show trophy is guaranteed for the foreseeable future and on reflection the management committee felt much more could be made of this if the public were able to see, albeit from a safe distance, the final selection and, perhaps closer up, the presentation of the trophy to the worthy winner. Next year a refurbished NCA stand will provide the backdrop for this highlight.

The combination of a national exhibition with the Parrot Society’s sales activities and the many Traders’ stands is clearly attractive to the public who attend in droves. Inevitably this presents security problems which were better dealt with this year but there are still areas where improvement is needed and which the organising committee will address.

In looking to the future Adam Kendall, the NCA’s CBS Liaison Officer, had some useful points to make in our quest to be more supportive to CBS and specialist clubs. In the short time Adam has been with the NCA he has contacted over 150 clubs and is building up a database of information about their location, size, activities and ways in which the NCA can assist them. It was agreed to investigate the provision of a Show Secretary Pack including a computerised schedule, entry system, catalogue etc.

Adam went on to suggest that some CBS clubs could help spread the word regarding bird keeping as a hobby and attracting new members by attending Pet Fairs, agricultural and county shows with display stands or banners supplied by the NCA. One of our difficulties is staffing our stand ourselves at the National, for example, when so many of our management committee are involved in other essential functions at the show. It was agreed that Adam present these ideas and others concerning our communication with the public at a special meeting of the management committee on Thursday, 24th November at the Fieldhead Hotel, Markfield.

“Brexit may mean Brexit” but it doesn’t mean that DEFRA and its new Secretary of State, Andrea Leadsom, are any further ahead with answers to questions from the fancy affecting our birds. Bob Partridge of the British Bird Council reported that there is a new Table recognising all ring sizes, including the various species of Redpoll, but which did not recognise the larger rings essential for Northern Species (e.g. Bullfinch, Goldfinch etc.). After much pressure from the BBC on animal welfare grounds DEFRA finally agreed to do so. Similarly, a decision has still to be made on publication of a new General Licence for 2017. Uncertainty over the effects of Brexit on legislation relating to our hobby is likely to persist for some time. Chairman, Chris Smith, reported that the African Grey Parrot is now listed under CITES 1.

Secretary, Ghalib Al-Nasser reported that over ninety clubs already subscribe to the NCA’s popular public liability insurance scheme and this is bound to increase with the demise of the Foreign Bird Association’s insurance scheme at the end of 2016. Application forms for PLI are available on line at www.nca.uk.net. Clubs are reminded that this covers ALL their activities, meetings, shows throughout the year currently costing £65 including NCA affiliation.

On a more positive note the Secretary was able to announce a request from the Zebra Finch Society for Dennis Webster to be included on the Roll of Honour for his many years of service to the fancy in a myriad of roles at local, national and international level. The President, Brian Hogg of the Canary Council, was pleased to present Dennis with the Roll of Honour certificate.

Another letter from the Norfolk Foreign Bird Association and North Walsham AS proposed the late Chris Allaway as a candidate for the Roll of Honour but Chris’s unexpectedly early demise in late September precluded this. However, it was agreed that Chris’s life-time of dedication to the fancy merited his inclusion in the Hall of Fame. Details of both these awards and others can be found on the NCA website.

In a report from Chris Smith, NCA Chairman and President of COM-UK, the issue of proposed changes to the model of the Yorkshire Canary was raised at the September COM meeting but the next meeting of the COM Technical Committee which decides such issues is not until 2018. UK fanciers are not in favour of a change to the Golding model. The next world show will be in Almeria, Spain and is open to the public from 20 - 22 January 2017.

A special management committee meeting to discuss future developments will be at 10.30am on 24th November at the Fieldhead Hotel, Markfield. The next general management committee meeting will follow the AGM on Saturday 8th April 2017 at the Charnwood Arms Hotel, Coalville, Leicestershire.

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AGM 2016 Report


Ghalib Al-Nasser (NCA Secretary) presenting Colin O’Hara with his NCA Roll of Honour certificate


Dennis Webster (NCA Vice Chairman) presenting John Ward with his NCA Roll of Honour certificate

The Annual General Meeting of the National Council for Aviculture took place on Saturday 9th  April 2016 at the Charnwood Arms Hotel, Coalville, Leicestershire. Representatives of the four parent bodies (Budgerigar Society, Canary Council, British Bird Council and Foreign Bird Federation) were in attendance as the Council officially entered its 71st year of existence.

Chairman, Chris Smith, opened the meeting promptly at 11.05am and welcomed all present. The minutes of the 2015 AGM had been distributed to all affiliated clubs prior to the meeting and were approved as a true record and adopted unanimously. There were no matters arising beyond those already included in the day’s agenda.

The Chairman tabled a written report to which he then spoke offering thanks to his fellow officers for their help and support throughout the previous year and for the honour of serving as Chairman during the Council’s 70th Anniversary Year. He had a number of items of news which would affect the Council during the coming year:

Firstly, the long search for a CBS Liaison Officer had reached a successful conclusion subject to the agreement of the management committee in its meeting after the AGM.

Secondly, the long-awaited report from DEFRA on new measures for the trade in captive birds has been published and legislation should be in place by the end of the year. The Government is considering a new across the board registration scheme to combat the illegal trade in birds and animals entering the country which may impact upon the Stafford shows. The question of cost remains.

Thirdly,  DEFRA’s view on what might happen should the UK exit the EU will be put to them at a forthcoming meeting of Sustainable Users Network and DEFRA in Bristol on 12th April, 2016. [see separate report].

Lastly, Chris explained how he has enjoyed his two 3-year terms as NCA Chair but he would not be seeking a third term after this year.

The Treasurer/Secretary, Ghalib Al-Nasser, then gave his two detailed reports on the Council’s audited financial situation and its achievements over the past twelve months. The period 01.01.15 to 31.12.15 had yielded a small profit of just over £300 compared to a loss of a similar sum in the previous year.  The interest payment on the investment bond was improved as was the income from Insurance and sales of badges and diplomas. The Council remains financially sound and the balance sheet was approved unanimously.

As Secretary, Ghalib reported on a busy and successful 70th anniversary year. The newly designed diplomas were well received at the National and by affiliated clubs and it was agreed to issue a modified version during 2016 celebrating the Parrot Society’s 50th anniversary. The management committee had met three times in the year. The on-going concern had been the Government’s attitude towards bird keeping in the UK and the consequences of a possible Brexit from the EU. Chairman, Chris Smith, and President, Bob Partridge, and the SUN organisation  were the main players in dealing with DEFRA. Chris was also to be thanked for representing the NCA at major events around the  country, including the Stafford shows, and of course as a COM-UK official in 2016 at the World Show in Portugal. COM-UK had entered slightly fewer birds this year but received more medals (22 as opposed to 14 in 2015). The 2017 World Show will be on January 20-22 in Almeria, Spain. As reported previously during the year several Societies nominated fanciers to be included in the NCA Roll of Honour and in the Hall of Fame as well as for Long Service badges.

The new NCA President for 2016, Brian Hogg of the Canary Council, was inaugurated and in accepting this honour he thanked the outgoing President, Bob Partridge, for presiding over a very successful year .Bob was duly elected to the position of  Life Vice-President in recognition of his work for the NCA.  The President Elect, Beverley Hutt of the Budgerigar Society, was unanimously elected to become President in 2017.

The NCA Management Committee consists of three representatives and a reserve from each of the parent bodies. In 2016 these will be:

British Bird Council: Bob Partridge, Robb Brown, Craig Walker, Julie Walker.

Canary Council: Brian Hogg, Dave Allen, Terry Salt, Barry Mills.

Budgerigar Society: Ghalib Al-Nasser, Beverley Hutt, John Cosby, Maurice Roberts.

Foreign Bird Federation: Dave Paine, Dennis Webster, Graham Lee, Peter Collins.

Paul Tiller was re-elected as Auditor for 2016.

Rates of subscription remained unchanged and two rule changes were approved.

Rule 10 (i) to be changed to “Parent Organisations 3 votes each. The Parent Body votes to be allocated so that each of the three members representing the PB has one vote each”.

Rule 13(vi) to be changed to “A quorum at a Management Committee meeting shall be 50% plus of the members representing the Parent Bodies”.

The date and venue of the 2017 AGM were agreed as Saturday 8th April 2017 at the Charnwood Arms Hotel. There being no other business the chairman closed the meeting at 12.30pm.

The NCA Management Committee meeting held on Saturday April 9th 2016 at the Charnwood Arms, Coalville, Leicestershire.

The  first substantive item of business was the co-option of Mr Adam Kendall, a Fife Canary fancier from Staffordshire, as CBS Liaison Officer. {See separate report}.

The meeting approved the design of the 2016 Diploma to commemorate the Parrot Society’s 50th Anniversary and 600 copies will be ordered by the Secretary.

The Chairman has purchased a supply of large posters from Belgium illustrating various bird species which will be available for purchase @ £8  each plus postage.

Election of Officers:

Dennis Webster agreed to stay on as Vice-Chair and Minute Secretary.

Ghalib Al-Nasser agreed to remain Secretary, Treasurer and Webmaster.

Barry Mills has agreed to remain as Publicity Officer.

The Awards Panel will be:  Brian Hogg, Robb Brown, Dave Paine, John Cosby.

CBS Liaison Officer as previously agreed will be Adam Kendall who seems eminently qualified for the position.

The Secretary/Treasurer gave an update of the various accounts and approval was given for re-investment of a substantial sum into a savings bond. The Public Liability Insurance income has increased but the premium tax has increased from 6% to 9.5%.This still remains a valuable service to the fancy and a source of income. Currently 43 clubs have applied for affiliation and PLI, and 29 clubs have applied for PLI only. The NCA has kept the cost unchanged for the moment i.e. £50 for PLI alone or £65 for affiliation and PLI. Application form is on the NCA website (www.nca.uk.net).

Dennis Webster continues his research mainly through back copies of C&AB into the history of the NCA.

The Chairman reported that there was now a response on the DEFRA Consultation but there are still many details on ring sizes etc. to be sorted out. He will be attending a further meeting with DEFRA on 12th April (see separate report) at which they will be asked about potential changes in legislation should the UK withdraw from the EU. DEFRA is still reducing its staff and the RSPB seem pretty much embedded as “expert advisors” in both Natural England and DEFRA.

The Chairman and NCA stand will be at the National Exhibition (Stafford) again this year. Transportation and other costs for aviary displays make attendance at the London Pet Fair and National Pet Show problematic.

The Secretary reported that he had received three nominations for the Roll of Honour and these were all approved:   Bryan Reed nominated by the Foreign Bird League and FBF.  John and Val Ward nominated by the National Bengalese Fanciers Association and FBF.  J.D.Ross nominated by the NE Lizard Canary Club. The Management Committee also approved the inclusion of Colin O’Hara on the Roll of Honour for his work in founding the National Exhibition at Stafford. A number of other possible nominations were discussed for future adoption. Details of the NCA Awards Scheme and Badges etc. can be found on the website www.nca.uk.net.

The Chairman and Secretary reported on the successful year COM-UK has had regarding the World Show 2016 at Matosinhos in Portugal. Chris will act as conveyor again for the next event in Almeria, Spain. A question regarding exhibits wearing split rings as well as the obligatory closed rings will be raised at the next COM-UK meeting. The funding of OMJ Judges attending COM judges’ meetings could not be met from the limited COM-UK resources.

Two dates were set for further management committee meetings:  Saturday, 2nd July & Wednesday 12th October at Charnwood Arms Hotel commencing 11am.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 13.50.

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Another Year Gets Underway for the N.C.A.

The National Council for Aviculture will be holding its Annual General Meeting from 11 a.m. on Saturday, 9th April, 2016 at the Charnwood Arms Hotel Beveridge Lane, Bardon Hill, Coalville, Leicestershire  LE67 1TB.

Full reports will be presented of the NCA’s activities and finances throughout 2015, any amendments to the constitution, appointment of management committee members and plans for the year ahead. A Management Committee meeting will be held after the AGM at which officials with specific responsibilities will be elected.

All CBS and specialist club secretaries and other officers planning for the year ahead  should seriously consider  renewal or commencement of Third Party Liability Insurance which provides £5m of  cover throughout 2016 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: info@nca.uk.net . The insurance application form can also be downloaded directly from the NCA website.

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 for which clubs can nominate their members for the NCA Long Service Badge Award, 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 www.nca.uk.net for further details of all this and more.

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