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A Day of Celebration for President Dave.

Saturday, 7th April 2018 will go down as an eventful day for Dave Paine. At the Annual General Meeting of the National Council for Aviculture held at Charnwood Arms Hotel, Coalville, Dave was inaugurated as the 2018 NCA President. Outgoing President, Bev Hutt, graciously  handed over the ceremonial chain of office and wished Dave well in his position as head of the NCA.


Bev Hutt (outgoing President) with Dave Paine (new President)

Not only that but, unknown to Dave, the officers of the Foreign Bird Federation had formally nominated him to be entered on to the Roll of Honour for his outstanding service to aviculture over many years. For more than 60 years he has been a loyal member of Gainsborough CBS, holding most of the club’s official posts at some time, and also a staunch supporter of other Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire Clubs and a leading officer of the Zebra Finch Society and the Foreign Bird Federation. For more years than he may wish to remember Dave has also served on the Management Committee of the NCA and in recent times has been a member of the COM-UK Committee.


Chris Smith (Chairman) presenting Dave Paine with the NCA Roll of Honour Certificate

NCA Chairman, Chris Smith, was delighted to present Dave with his Roll of Honour Certificate and to thank him for all his years of service to aviculture. Dave’s name will now be entered on the Roll of Honour list on the NCA website (www.nca.uk.net).

Readers are reminded that the NCA organises several types of award for bird fanciers at every level of the hobby from long service badges, to the Roll of Honour and, for bird keepers who have shuffled off this mortal coil but are remembered for their achievements in aviculture, there is the Hall of Fame. Take a look at the NCA website for details of how you and your club members can share in this recognition of service.

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NCA 2018 AGM Report

At 10.30am on Saturday 7th April 2018 Chairman, Chris Smith, opened the National Council for Aviculture’s Annual General meeting at the Charnwood Arms Hotel, Coalville, Leicestershire by thanking the attendees for making the journey to Coalville, some having driven long distances. Representatives of all four parent bodies of the NCA were present i.e. The Budgerigar Society, The British Bird Council, The Foreign Bird Federation and the Canary Council. Apologies were received from the CBS Liaison Officer, Adam Kendall, and several affiliated CBS’s.

Chairman Warns of New Licensing Scheme

The minutes of the 2017 AGM were approved and with no matters arising the Chairman commenced with the first item of the agenda, his seventh report as Chairman. He thanked the officers of the NCA for their hard work and support over the past year. He flagged up the potential threats to bird keeping from the  licensing scheme proposed by the government which becomes law this year. The Sustainable  Users Network is co-ordinating efforts to combat this on behalf of many hobbyists. The NCA needs to remain active on behalf of our affiliated clubs and at the Management Committee meeting after the AGM to discuss setting  aside funds to help fight individual cases.

DEFRA is restricting its meetings with SUN to CITIES issues but separate meetings will be held on British Bird issues and the effects of Brexit subject to agreement of other member states. The Management Committee will need to discuss the proposal to extend the National Exhibition to a two-day show. Meanwhile the NCA/Canary Council ring scheme is up and running.

Treasurer Reports on Boost to Income

The Treasurer, Ghalib Al-Nasser, presented the balance sheet for 2017/18 which showed a substantial increased profit for the year with income exceeding expenditure by nearly £4k. This was due mainly to the uptake of Public Liability Insurance by 162 societies. Interest earned on the three year bond with Cambridge Bank also boosted income. The Management Committee would need to consider how to make positive use of our increased funds. The meeting accepted the balance sheet unanimously and thanked the Treasurer for his excellent stewardship of the NCA finances.

World Show Success and Awards for UK Fanciers.

Wearing his other hat as Secretary Ghalib spoke to the written report he had issued prior to the AGM. The Management Committee had met three times over the year dealing mainly with DEFRA/SUN activities, specifically regulations relating to the movement of birds post-Brexit and the on-going ring size issue for British Native Birds. He was pleased to report on the very successful World Show held in Cesena, Italy with a total entry of 32,061 exhibits. The COM-UK entry was slightly down at 205 birds from 34 exhibitors gaining five gold, ten silver and five bronze medals. The 2019 World Show will be in Zwolle, Holland from 10th-13th January. A good number of NCA Long Service badges had been requested by affiliated clubs over the year but there surely must be many more deserving fanciers who could benefit from this free service. Clubs simply need to nominate qualifying members in writing explaining their achievements. See the NCA website for details (www.nca.uk.net).

From President to President

The Chairman was pleased to announce the inauguration of the NCA’s new president for 2018/19, David Paine, of the Foreign Bird Federation, who was presented formally with his chain of office by outgoing President Beverley Hutt. David was delighted to accept the honour of being president and pledged his support for the NCA in its task of representing and protecting the interests of hobbyist bird keepers.

The Secretary had received a proposal from the British Bird Council that Bernard Williams be made President Elect. This was accepted with enthusiasm and Bernard will therefore assume the Presidency from the 2019 AGM.

In line with recent tradition the outgoing President, Beverly Hutt, was appointed Honorary Life Vice President in recognition of her service to the NCA.

Parent Body Representatives Named

The following names were submitted as parent body representatives for the year ahead:

British Bird Council: Bob Partridge, Robb Brown, Bernard Williams.

Canary Council: Brian Hogg, Terry Salt, Saviour Camilleri, Barry Mills.

Budgerigar Society: Ghalib Al-Nasser, Beverley Hutt, John Cosby, Maurice Roberts (to be confirmed).

Foreign Bird Federation: Dave Paine, Graham Lee, Dennis Webster (to be confirmed)

Paul Tiller was re-elected as auditor for 2018.

No Increase in Subs

In view of the NCA’s healthy financial position it was agreed that subscriptions remain the same as in 2017.

The final piece of business was to set the date and venue of the next Annual General Meeting as Saturday 6th April 2019 at the Charnwood Arms Hotel, Coalville LE67 1TB.

The meeting closed at 11.25am.

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NCA Management Committee Meeting  7April 2018

Immediately following the National Council for Aviculture AGM the members of the Management Committee reconvened to consider the agenda previously circulated.

Minutes of the previous management committee held on 10th October 2017 were agreed as a true record and adopted. There were several matters arising:

A two-day National?

A proposal was discussed that the National Exhibition at Stafford be extended to a two-day show. Erection of staging would commence at 6a.m. on the Saturday and birds would be entered from 11am in time for judging at 2pm and the show would close for the day at 7pm. The programme for Sunday would include the Sales Day and the Exhibition presentations, finally lifting at 3pm.

Chris Smith reported that 4-5 canary sections were in favour of the change whereas Dennis Webster maintained that much of the Foreign Bird section   were opposed to the idea. This will have to be discussed at the Parrot Society meeting held on 15th May. Some members of the Management Committee doubted whether such a change could be achieved in 2018. There was also the question of cost to the fancier. Those living some distance from the Showground would need to do the journey twice (more fuel) or alternatively stay overnight but the cost of accommodation in the area has sharply increased in recent years and is in any case very limited. Equally problematic is the cost of hiring the halls for the extra day (estimated at £7K).Were the Parrot Society to pay this, would they be able still to pay the Bounty for benched exhibits? Would the PS seek a financial contribution from the NCA? An overnight stay would afford more opportunity for social activity. When put to the vote it was agreed that the NCA would back the concept of a two-day show subject to resolution of the various points raised in discussion.

NCA Officers re-elected

The first formal agenda item was election of officers. On a proposal by Dave Paine (FBF), seconded by Bob Partridge (BBC) it was decided to elect officers en bloc:

Chairman: Chris Smith (CC)
Vice-Chair and Minutes Secretary: Dennis Webster (FBF)
Secretary/Treasurer: Ghalib Al-Nasser (BS)
Publicity Officer:  Barry Mills  (CC)
CBS Liaison Officer: Adam Kendall
Awards Panel: Robb Brown (BBC), John Cosby (BS), Brian Hogg (CC), Dave Paine (FBF)

Chris Smith reported that he was seeking to reduce his commitments this year so would stand down from the COM-UK Committee. Rob Brown (BBC) volunteered to replace Chris and join Brian Hogg (CC) and Ghalib Al-Nasser (BS) as NCA representatives on the COM-UK Committee. All in agreement.

PLI Scheme proving popular

Secretary/Treasurer Update: Ghalib reported that 153 clubs and societies had applied for affiliation and Public Liability Insurance @ £65 so far this year. It was pointed out that £5m PBI is a requirement of most local authorities for hire of premises these days which explains the strong uptake of the NCA policy. This has also increased NCA income substantially to the extent that the Treasurer proposed we could reward our affiliated clubs for their support of the scheme by offering a lower rate of £60 in 2019 and still cover our costs. This was passed overwhelmingly.

CBS Liaison Officer  To Stay on

Due to work commitments our CBS Liaison Officer, Adam Kendall, was unable to attend but had submitted a written report circulated to all MC members. The main points of Adam’s report were that key to the NCA’s activities in the future is development of the website and Facebook page and he apologised for having to cancel two meetings set up to explore this. A new meeting is required as soon as possible.

Improved communication within the fancy is going to be crucial in protecting our hobby from the impending legislation being introduced by DEFRA under the proposed licensing scheme. Adam feels the hobby is still in decline for a number of reasons but he would like to continue in the role of CBS Liaison Officer. This was approved unanimously. It was also agreed to try to set up a meeting with Adam in July.

DEFRA to introduce New Licensing Scheme

Chris Smith was able to give more information about the DEFRA proposals for an Animal Activities Licensing scheme. There is a document (64 pages, not yet published) outlining the requirements of this legislation. Dennis Webster wondered how many bird keepers could provide documentary proof that they did not make a profit from their hobby if visited by inspectors. Chris noted that fanciers could indicate that they were genuine hobbyists and not commercial by joining a club, either specialist or CBS. The local authority inspectorates already exist in Environmental Health departments. It was suggested that an Environmental Health Officer be invited to a meeting to discuss the new legislation with us. It was also noted that licensed bird sellers could not have a sales table at an event like Stafford.

In the event that some fanciers (most likely Hawk or PS members) were prosecuted as a test case, would the NCA contribute to the cost of the defence? The case would need to be chosen very carefully and agreed by the Management Committee. It was agreed to set aside £5K as a fighting fund.

Three Additions to The Roll of Honour

The Secretary had received three nominations for the NCA Roll of Honour:  Robert Read, currently the President of Irvine CBS, has been in the hobby for over 60 years, is a Border Canary exhibitor and Judge.

Mr Ron Palfreyman, nominated by the West Wales BFCC, a bird keeper for over eighty years, a loyal supporter of CBS’s, particularly Swansea CBS, a knowledgeable and respected aviculturist at local, regional and national level.

David Paine, who took up the role of NCA President this very day, was nominated by the FBF for his work with the Gainsborough CBS for over 60 years and his contributions to other Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire clubs, the Zebra Finch Society and the Foreign Bird Federation. His role on the NCA Management Committee for many years and more recently on the COM-UK Committee are also worthy of recognition.

All three nominations were unanimously approved and Dave Paine was presented with his certificate by the Chairman during the meeting.

World Show Comes Closer to Home

The Secretary restated the outstanding success of the World Show at Cesena, Italy in January 2018 with 32,061 birds from 4,002 exhibitors, 34 of whom were from the UK with 205 birds. UK exhibitors won 5 gold, 10 silver and 5 bronze medals. The 2019 World Show is closer to home being held in Zwolle, Holland between 10th-13th January 2019. Due to this earlier date birds will need to leave the UK on 2nd or 3rd January.

Prior to the meeting a press release from “Birds1st.com” had been distributed to MC members concerning a national/international bird keeping, bird watching and bird conservation day to be held on 27th April 2018.It is understood that individual membership is £15 and organisations £60. This would enable a minimum of 12 advertising slots on social media. The Birds1st website is rather sparse on information. After discussion the MC agreed not to participate.

Ringing Success to Close the Meeting!

The Chairman was pleased to report that the NCA/CC ringing scheme has been successfully launched (see www.nca.uk.net for details and order form) and experience of Avian ID (new owners of A.C.Hughes) has been good.

There being no other business the Chairman thanked everyone for their attendance and their continuing good work on behalf of the fancy and the dates of the next 2 meetings were fixed as Saturday 21st July and Wednesday 10th October. Venue to be confirmed.

BM 15/4/18

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Calling All Club Secretaries! Are you covered for your club’s activities in 2018?

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 including shows, meetings, fund-raising activities which might lead to damage to any third party or their property. Cover runs   from 1st January to 31st December 2018.

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 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. Please see our website to learn how to apply for awards that recognise the service and achievements of your members in pursuit of their hobby of aviculture. 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………… it makes sense.

The NCA AGM will take place on 7th April at 10.30a.m.  at the Charnwood Arms Hotel, Coalville, Leicestershire LE67 1TB. Agendas will be distributed to all affiliated clubs at least 28 days prior to the meeting. All Life members are very welcome to attend. If you are attending as the official representative of your club, please bring a letter on headed note paper from your club chairman or secretary confirming this fact. Please refer to the   constitution on the NCA website for all rules and regulations concerning the governance of the NCA and the conduct of its meetings.

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