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The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy

The UK's Premier Registration body

General Notices

GCCF 2020 Elections

Notice from the Chair:  Sean Farrell

Dear People 

Following the publication of the GCCF 2020 Election Results from CIVICA, some delegates have contacted the previous Chair with queries regarding why the single transferable vote (STV) has been used.

The STV was agreed unanimously by the board. This was following CIVICA guidance, due to us running multiple elections at the same time, potentially involving the same individuals.

Council subsequently approved the proposed Election process that had been agreed by the Board, to enable an independent alternative, to the usual Council meeting Elections in June that could not take place due to the current global pandemic.

We have published all of the results and the CIVICA notification of results on the GCCF website.

If anyone has any questions/queries about the process, please e-mail Denise at: officemanager@gccfcats.org

Denise will compile any queries and I, as Chair, will liaise with CIVICA for an explanation.

Sean Farrell

GCCF Chair

Farewell statement from former Chairman, John Hansson

CAMEO PEWTER AND SMOKE SOCIETY

The club is running a fun, virtual show for CLUB members only.  New members are welcome and membership forms can be downloaded from the website http://www.cameo-pewter-smoke-society.co.uk 

Entries are free and unlimited.  There are some great prizes on offer.  Get your entries in now

Ed Merchant
18th November 2020

IMPORT/EXPORT OF CATS TO/FROM THE EU AFTER 31st DECEMBER 2020

 

This notice concerns the issue of import/export after the transition period ending 31st December 2020.  We do not have a clear answer to this question as yet, the Government is still in negotiations with the EU over a trade agreement and the outcome of that will have an impact on pet travel and pet importation.  If we end up with a deal, we might have less onerous regulations on pet import and export, than if we are on WTO regulations; whatever is the case we will be treated as a third country.

The latest guidance is on the DEFRA website and we have given two links below, the first relates to pet travel, the second to importation/export of animals.  Pet Passports will not apply any longer if we become an unlisted country, but the Government has the facility to apply for part 1 or part 2 listing - we don't yet know what the outcome of such application will be.  We will also no longer have access to TRACES when importing so things will change, there are differences when importing from the EU or non-EU as we will not be an EU country after 1/1/21.  

However, all will depend on whether any Brexit deal is done, or whether the UK comes out with No Deal and what the terms are.  We are currently liaising with others, i.e. Kennel Club, CFSG and pet transport companies, to try and ascertain what this will mean for breeders importing and exporting to EU countries, and as soon as we have clear information we will post to the GCCF website and FB pages.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pet-travel-to-europe-from-1-january-2021

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/importing-animals-animal-products-and-high-risk-food-and-feed-not-of-animal-origin-from-1-january-2021

Draft Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (Scotland) Regulations 2021

The GCCF thanks those breeders in Scotland who sent us comments on the draft regulations.  We have submitted a response to the stakeholder consultation (see link here), for which we have received the following acknowledgment:.

"Many thanks for submitting comments on behalf of the GCCF. We very much appreciate you taking the time to respond. We will review your comments and discuss with the lawyer drafting the new regulations. I will be in touch should we have any questions. Looking forward, the Scottish Government will need to prepare guidance for both local authorities and each of the sectors that will need to comply with the new licensing requirements. I have no doubt that input from the GCCF on guidance for cat breeders would be extremely useful. Can you confirm if you would be willing to input into the development of that guidance when the work starts early in the new year? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated."

Steve Crow - GCCF Director

Government Chief Vet urges the public to think twice before buying a new pet this Christmas and to thoroughly research sellers

Those looking to bring a new puppy or kitten home this Christmas are being urged to research the person behind the pet to avoid being lured in by deceitful sellers.  Please click on the link to access DEFRA's "Petfished" campaign.

Update on World Cat Congress Celebration of 150 Years of Cat Shows, October 2021 

As many will be aware cat shows as we know them began in London in 1871, so GCCF was scheduled to host this celebratory event with invitations to be sent out to organisations around the world. The Board has been closely monitoring the Covid 19 information being issued by the Government, and considering the implications re the resumption of Cat Shows and of international travel. It is with regret that it has come to the conclusion that due to the number of uncertainties currently prevailing it would be irresponsible to allow the event to proceed here as planned. At present it’s impossible to secure the venues, hotels, judges and travel bookings necessary, and there’s nothing now to indicate we could begin doing so until late spring which leaves too little time for the sort of preparations required.  Therefore the decision has been taken to inform the WCC of cancellation of GCCF participation , so no organisation or individual invests a great deal of time and/or money in an event that would be most unlikely to happen on the grand scale the prestigious  anniversary deserved.  

GCCF Yearbook - how to pre-order

 

We are currently accepting pre-orders for the 2020 GCCF Yearbook. You can order your copy online for £10 from the shop, or you can call the GCCF office between 10am and 4pm on weekdays to order over the phone.  Don't forget to check for the money off codes in some of the advertisements!

We are working hard to dispatch all Yearbook orders in the first week of December - ready to be in your homes for Christmas!


For the Attention of Breeders in Scotland

 

We have received notification from the Scottish Government that they have initiated a stakeholder consultation on the draft Animal Welfare Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (Scotland) Regulations 2021.  These regulations when enacted will govern, among other things, the licensing of cat, dog and rabbit breeding in Scotland.

 

The consultation on these draft regulations is for a limited time and runs until the 11th November 2020.  It is important to say that this is not intended to be a full statutory consultation as that took place at the end of 2018; GCCF took the opportunity to feed in views at that time.  This consultation is seeking to refine the provisions that are presently set out in the SSI, where practical and appropriate to do so

 

This is to alert breeders resident in Scotland of the consultation process and to encourage them to read the draft regulations and take advantage of the opportunity to feed-in comments to GCCF via info@gccfcats.org by 6th November.  GCCF will submit a response to the draft regulations to meet the 11th November deadline.  .

 

A link to the draft can be found here:

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (Scotland) Regulations 2021 - draft for stakeholders - legal rural - 21 Oct 2020

 

The cat charity Cats Protection have now produced their 2020 Cat Report, which has some useful statistics about cats and cat ownership.  To view the pdf document, please click on the Cats Protection logo

  

AGRIA insurance - Lykoi breed - message from AGRIA

‼️WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THAT WE NOW PROVIDE COVER FOR THE LYKOI ‼️

This is wonderful news for owners and breeders of this wonderful breed, but most importantly, Lykoi kittens can now be protected with immediate cover with our 5 weeks free insurance when they leave for their new homes.

The Lykoi is an unusual breed of cat and has been nicknamed the werewolf cat due to its appearance.

If you want to find out more about this breed, please visit the GCCF website...

www.gccfcats.org/Cat-Breeds/Lykoi

please note that the current T&Cs will still state that it is specifically excluded, but this will be changed when they are next updated.

Royal Canin Discount Vouchers

Don't forget that you can still redeem your gift certificates won at shows sponsored by Royal Canin by contacting their Area Business Manager. To find out who the Business Manager is for your area, click here:https://bit.ly/3b6yjOr 

12th June 2020

 

FIP RESEARCH

Petra Cerna works at the The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies - please see the post below:

As most of you know, I am very much involved in FIP research and I am very happy to let everyone know about our new website http://fip-research.org and I have a big favour to ask from all of you. We are looking for blood samples from pedigree cats that have been diagnosed with FIP and their both healthy and other FIP siblings as well as their mother and father. 
We are also looking for blood samples from these breeds: Sacred Birmans, Bengals, British Shorthair and Longhair, Sphynx, Siamese/Oriental, Burmese and Russian Blue cats.
Could you please send me a message (via her Facebook page) if you can help me? Thank you very much.

Any breeders are also very welcome to join our FIP research group for breeders: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1984834335133226/

 

 

28th March 2019

"Lucy's Law"

 

The Government announced yesterday that they plan to introduce legislation (called 'Lucy's Law') to ban the sale of puppies and kittens through a third party agent, this means pet shops or pet dealers.  The detail of this legislation has not yet been published but once introduced it should have no impact on breeders who register with GCCF as they sell the kittens they breed directly to a new owner, and not to a pet shop or animal dealer.  

Reports on the new legislation have also mentioned the fact that licensed dog breeders may or will be asked to quote their license number in adverts placed on-line or elsewhere. This does not apply to most cat breeders as they remain defined as hobby breeders if not operating a commercial cat breeding business and so do not require a licence from the 1st October 2018, when new animal licensing legislation comes into effect. 

Media reports on ‘Lucy’s Law’ have stated that the intention is to ban puppy and kitten farming which is correct, but it should not be forgotten that dog and cat breeding are covered by different rules (schedules) within the new legislation. Once there is further information on the detail of exactly how the new proposal will regulate advertising an update will be given.

Steve Crow - Director

Animal Welfare legislation 2018 - Defra guidelines for local authority inspectors 

http://www.petcare.org.uk/images/Images_2018/AAL/Guidance_notes_for_selling_animals_as_pets.pdf

What is in and out of the scope: Selling animals as pets

2. Schedule1of theAnimalWelfare(LicensingofActivitiesInvolvingAnimals)(England) Regulations 2018 (“the regulations”) defines the licensable activities for each sector. In all cases except dog breeding, the licensable activity is restricted to businesses or those operating on a commercial basis.

Business Test

  1. The regulations specify two example business tests to be considered when determining whether an activity is considered commercial, and thus within scope. They are not the exclusive factors to be considered but are examples and other factors, such as those listed in the nine badges of trade set out by HMRC, are also relevant. The regulations include the following on this issue:
  2. The circumstances which a local authority must take into account in determining whether an activity is being carried on in the course of a business for the purposes of this Schedule include, for example, whether the operator—

(a) makes any sale by, or otherwise carries on, the activity with a view to making a profit, or

(b) earns any commission or fee from the activity.

  1. This guidance is intended to assist inspectors in determining whether or not an activity may be subject to the regulations noting that ultimately there will be an element of judgement required.
  2. Set out below are examples of the type of activity that should or should not be considered within the scope of the regulations and the indicators that should be considered when deciding whether a licence is required.
  3. Local authority inspectors should take account of all elements of the advice below and weigh them against each other before reaching a decision as to whether an activity falls within scope of the regulations. 

 

Selling animals as pets: Text of the definition in Schedule 1 of the regulations

“2. Selling animals as pets (or with a view to their being later resold as pets) in the course of a business including keeping animals in the course of a business with a view to their being so sold or resold.

In scope criteria

Activities that fulfil one or more of the following criteria are subject to licensing:

Guideline indicators of running a business of selling animals as pets

The following may assist consideration of the criteria listed above:

 

· Advertising through a variety of sites, forums or media could indicate a commercial activity.

Out of scope criteria

Activities that fulfil one or more of the following criteria are not subject to licensing:

Guideline indicators of “out of scope” activities

The following may assist consideration of the criteria listed above:

Update on Licensing of Cat Breeders 

Please see my previous postings on this Noticeboard for the full background on this topic. 

 

Since my last update in October 2017, work has continued to write the guidance that will be necessary for interpreting each of the five schedules contained within the Statutory Instrument drafted to amend the Animal Welfare Act 2006.  To remind everyone there are five schedules covering: The Boarding of Cats & Dogs; Dog Breeding; Pet Vending; Hiring out of Horse; and Exhibiting Animals.  The licensing of cat breeding will be operated under the Schedule 3: Pet Vending. 

 

This guidance will be available to inform licensees of the requirements under each schedule and will also guide local authority Environmental Health Inspectors in interpreting and applying the requirements of the legislation when inspecting licensed premises.  I have been a member of the working group developing the guidance for the Pet Vending schedule.

 

“The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) Regulations 2018” (www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2018/9780111165485) has now completed its journey through both the House of Commons and House of Lords without amendment.  Lord Gardiner, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biodiversity, confirmed to members of the Canine & Feline Sector Group on 1st May that licensing will be enacted from 1st October 2018.  Between now and then, training will be organised and delivered to Environmental Health Inspectors in England.  The legislation will not apply in Scotland, but the Welsh Assembly have developed legislation similar to that in England. 

 

As I have reported before, the key factor in determining who is in scope to be licensed is whether the person is breeding cats with the intention of making a profit.  This will be the crucial factor in establishing that a breeder is operating commercially ie. as a business.  Any breeder who believes the licensing will apply to their circumstances should contact their local authority with a view to apply for a license from October this year.

   

My reading of the new legislation would indicate that the large majority of cat breeders registering with GCCF will be out of scope and will not require a licence.  However, it is the responsibility of each breeder to check their own situation and to act accordingly.  If you are breeding very regularly and in sufficient numbers to make a profit, you are likely to be considered to be a commercial pet vendor, in which case you will need to apply for a license. 

I urge breeders to keep financial records so as to be able to demonstrate, when necessary, both to their local authority and to HMRC that they are not making an profit and do not require a pet vending license.

 

Steve Crow

14th May 2018

 

Update on Licensing of Cat Breeders

I gave the following update to Council Delegates yesterday:

This issue has been under discussion for the past two years or so and I have previously issued notices giving information on the range of proposals that have been made, these have differed both in scope and potential impact on our hobby. 

Over the past few months I am pleased to say that I have been able to gain some real clarity from DEFRA on how licensing will work and the criteria that will be applied. 

This specific criteria applies only in England; the Welsh Assembly has drafted something very similar for Wales; the Scottish Parliament has no plans to introducing licensing at this time. 

DEFRA intends to use Statutory Instruments to amend the current Animal Welfare Act 2006 – these were drafted in September and are currently titled “The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) Regulations 2018”.  I have been given a copy by DEFRA. 

There are five schedules covering: The Boarding of Cats & Dogs; Dog Breeding; Pet Vending; Hiring out of Horse; and Exhibiting Animals. 

The licensing of cat breeding will be operated under the Pet Vending schedule, this schedule is written to cover all establishments selling animals either to an intermediary or directly to the public, eg. pet shops, commercial breeding establishments.

As many of you know, I have been working through the Canine & Feline Sector Group to feed in views and seek both amendments and clarification of the Pet Vending schedule as it relates to cats, and to ensure the guidance drafted to assist inspectors in interpreting the schedule is fit for purpose.  Since June I have been part of a working group which has now refined the guidance and our recommended changes have been accepted by DEFRA.

I have also been able to gain confirmation from DEFRA that the Exhibiting Animals schedule will not apply to cat shows. 

So the current position is as follows:

·         Since the licensing of cat breeders will be governed under the Pet Vending schedule, the key factor in determining who is in scope to be licensed is whether the person is breeding with the intention of making a profit.  This will be the crucial factor in establishing that a breeder is operating commercially.  There will be no maximum litter number per year or similar (as with dog breeding), what will be considered is how much money the breeder is receiving from kitten/cat sales and stud fees off-set by the cost of keeping and breeding said cats.  Therefore both the number of kittens sold and price they are sold for are relevant.

·         If there is any doubt about whether a breeder needs a licence then they will need to evidence whether or not they are making a profit (probably on an annual basis).  It is therefore imperative that breeders keep accurate financial records in order to prove whether or not they are making a profit.  All the obvious costs will be in scope – food, litter, vets bills, heat & light, advertising, showing, stud fees, etc. 

·         Each breeder will need to decide whether they need to apply for a licence from their local authority, depending upon whether they believe they are in scope, ie. making a profit from selling cats/kittens.  If they believe they can demonstrate they are not making a profit they will not need to apply for a licence.  Any breeder who is not licensed, but is considered by the LA to be licensable, will be required to prove why they do not need such a licence.  There will be penalties applied to those people operating without a licence.

·         DEFRA would like to place the legislation before Parliament next spring, but this may be put back depending on the weight of parliamentary business.  The earliest the licensing regulations could come into effect is around July 2018, but it is likely that October 2018 is more realistic.  There is likely to be something like an 18 month implementation period before local authorities will have Environmental Health Inspectors trained and everything in place (and a period of time for breeders to apply for a licence)

·         It is my belief that the large majority of cat breeders registering with GCCF will be out of scope and will not require a licence.  However, it is the responsibility of each breeder to check their own situation and to act accordingly.   

I will issue a further update as and when I have more information to share, or if the situation outlined above changes in any meaningful way.

Steve Crow

5th October 2017

Combined Show and BAC Review

Following the agreement at June Council by a majority vote to embrace the sectional changes within GCCF shows and an extensive overhaul of the Breed Advisory system alongside of a revised programme for Judge/steward training, the combined groups met recently to plan and implement the process of change.

It was the consensus of all, that the groups in their current format were no longer the best vehicles to undertake the next steps. After considerable discussion it was decided to split into three groups each with a specific focus of implementation to oversee however it is fully recognised that there will be areas of overlap and interdependency.

Show Structure Implementation

Chairman: Kate Kaye

Members: Heather McRae, Elaine Robinson ad Lisa Robinson-Talboys

  1. October Council Statement – summary of completion of SRG work

  2. Recognition that the addition of breeds currently not recognised by GCCF can still be embraced via procedures as set out in the rules.

  3. General publicity to as wide an audience as possible

  4. Invitation of feedback using means such as: SRG FB site, Email

  5. Liaison with show managements

  6. Liaison with GCCF Office

BAC amalgamation

Chairman: John Hansson

Members: Jules Candler, Jen Lacey, Sally Rainbow-Ockwell

  1. Contact with all BACs to give them the detail of their groups (where relevant) and make a check of the draft judge analysis

  2. Data now available indicating which judges have not undertaken an engagement for five years, confirmation with BACs and discussion on options so that these can be highlighted for SMs

  3. BACs to continue as a forum for discussion, and Judge Appointment Groups to cover group judging with BAC or Breed club representation.

  4. ‘Panel’ to determine outcome of split decisions

  5. Seminars no longer mandatory as a separate event may be held at breed shows

  6. Fee to JAGs covering several breeds to be £50 for appointment & promotion

  7. An examination of BAC funds and consideration of financial viability

  8. Time limit for BAC response to be the end of October, but not necessary to have a formal meeting unless already planned as discussion and feedback can be electronic.

Judge Training

Chairman: Peter Collin

Members: Val Anderson, Sue Dalton-Hobbs, Shelagh Heavens, Val Kilby, Helen Marriott- Power,

                Peter Williams

  1. The Training Scheme for new judges

  2. Mentoring

  3. Tutorials and assessments

  4. Full Judges

  5. Transition and training within the new Grand groups

Although this move could be seen to increase both time and expense, it is envisaged that the majority of work/issues within these groups will be undertaken and resolved via email or facetime.

It was recognised that the implementation of the sectional changes is not dependant on the BAC amalgamation and Judge training aspects being finalised. An earlier move to the new structure with a limited crossover period was considered to be beneficial to exhibitors, show managers and especially judges who will get the opportunity to judge the revised groups breeds in side classes before they are asked to undertake the breed or grand classes.

The finalizing the “mechanics” of this change is underway so it is proposed that this aspect of change should start as soon as possible therefore the intention is to take a proposal to this effect to October council. We are looking towards February 2018 for the changes to be implemented. It is envisaged that there will be a short period wherein, due to some shows having already printed their schedules, that both the current and new Grand structure will be in “play” with the changeover fully completed by June 2018.