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The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy

The UK's Premier Registration body

General Notices

BOOSTER VACINATIONS & SHOWS

At the Council Meeting on 6/11/2021 a temporary amendment to GCCF Rule Section 5/3a proposed by the Veterinary Advisory Committee was approved, which effectively allows a 3 month extension to the permitted booster interval for adult cats attending shows. To attend shows,  adult cats, who have completed the primary vaccination course, must have had a vaccine within the 15 months and 7 days ( changed from 12 months and 7 days) preceding the show.  This concession is temporary until vaccine supplies are back to normal. 

Please note the concession does not apply to kittens and to young adults. The interval between 2nd kitten vaccination and 1st adult vaccination given at around 15 months must still not exceed 12 months and 7 days.  The VAC do not consider it safe to change the rule for kittens and adolescent cats.  

The revised wording of the relevant section of Rule 5/3a is as follows:

AMENDMENTS TO NOTE 2 THAT GIVE A TEMPORARY EXTENSION OF THE BOOSTER VACCINATION INTERVAL IN ADULT CATS WHO HAVE COMPLETED A 3 DOSE PRIMARY COURSE

VALID FROM 06/11/2021 UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE DUE TO TEMPORARY SHORTAGE OF FELINE VACCINES

Every adult  cat attending a GCCF show must have had a minimum of a Flu (FCV,FHV) booster in the 15 months and 7 days preceding the show  Cats whose last booster was given more than 15 months and 7 days before the show will be rejected under Section A.

NB: The existing rule in relation to the 3 dose primary course and FPV vaccination in adult cats will still apply. These sections have been reworded for extra clarity. The entire revised Rule 5/3a can be read (here) - link to VAC's proposal.

Yorkshire, Cumberland and British Shorthaired shows

For the attention of exhibitors entered in any of the three shows taking place at the Dome Doncaster on 13th November.
By entering the shows as with any other show you agreed to comply with the GCCF rules and any other Covid restrictions which are all fully outlined in the Schedule and has been emailed to all exhibitors.

Please note we will not be open to the public on this occasion and anyone accompanying you must have pre booked, paid for and their details been given to us before the show.

We look forward to welcoming you

Lynda and the show team
8th November 2021

Birman Cat Club AGM

The 2021 Annual General Meeting will take place on Sunday 16th January 2022 at 2.30pm, this will cover both 2019 and 2020. Please note that it will be held on line using Zoom and therefore to participate you will need to have access to the internet as well as having an e-mail account. Further details will be posted / mailed to all members next month.

 

We currently have 4 vacancies for ordinary committee members.

 

In addition, my three year term as Club Secretary has come to an end and I have indicated to the committee that I am willing to re-stand. Whilst our Treasurer Mr Paul Veal is standing down from his role at the AGM, The committee is proposing that Mrs Tina Mason takes over the position.

 

We would welcome applications from anyone that wishes to stand for any of the above positions, you will need to provide me with a proposer and seconder from our membership as well as sending me a brief resume. All of this needs to be with me by Friday 20th November 2021

 

Neil Porter

Hon Secretary

elmorebirmans@btinternet.com

Statement from the Chair Regarding 2021 Elections

During this year's elections it became apparent that there were inconsistencies with how the election process should be managed and ambiguity in the Bye-Laws, which required legal advice to proceed correctly.   

The issue surrounding "if candidates statements were not received by the deadline" were those candidates not eligible to stand, this was an issue with no clarity. This is despite there being a council resolution to require a 50 word statement in 2008, which was subsequently changed to up to 200 words.   

Legal advice was sought, and I was advised to accept the nominations, but no other changes were to be made, accordingly late statements were not published.   

The tie for the 5th position could have been decided by a random generator by Civica, but I opted to resolve the issue by a simple vote at Council, to both have a fair vote and to stick as closely as possible to what would normally happen, based on the Legal advice sought.   

Lessons have been learnt and you will see some possible amendments on the Council agenda, these seek to give absolute clarity for any future elections. 

Sean Farrell, GCCF Chairman

ARDEN GRANGE £25,000 PRIZE DRAW

25,000 Reasons to Celebrate with Arden Grange Arden Grange, the independent producer of hypoallergenic, super premium dog and cat food, is celebrating its 25th birthday in 2021 and to mark the occasion, will be giving away £25,000! This is not the only anniversary promotion during the year, as the company will be creating lots of opportunities for pet-owners to celebrate with Arden Grange.

£25,000 Prize Draw

To kick off the celebrations Arden Grange has launched a very special competition with the main cash prize being an incredible £25,000! The prize draw runs from July 2021 to the last day of Crufts on 13 March 2022, so there is plenty of time to enter.  Simply head over to Ardengrange.com<https://www.ardengrange.com/> to take part in the free prize draw for your chance to win one of a selection of great prizes.

GUIDANCE FOR BREEDERS REGARDING THE CURRENT SHORTAGE OF CAT VACCINES

Unfortunately there is a worldwide vaccine shortage due to Covid related production issues combined with an increase in the number of cats needing vaccination.

The Veterinary Officer has contacted all the major UK vaccine manufacturers and they are all giving the same advice to veterinary practices which is to prioritise primary vaccination courses and delay booster vaccinations for up to 3 months.

There will be no rule change in relation to vaccination as the clause in GCCF Rule: Section 110 b ii covers situations when a breeder cannot vaccinate kittens in an emergency.  

Breeders should make every effort to find a practice that will provide a complete vaccination course at the usual age ie 9 and 12 weeks. It is most strongly recommended that you try to book a litter in as far ahead as possible ie at least 4/5 weeks before their first vaccine is due. If you encounter difficulty please explain to the practice that vaccination prior to sale is a GCCF rule that is there for the protection and welfare of kittens up to 12/13 weeks of age before being released to their new homes.

If no practice in your area is able to either fully vaccinate kittens or give only a single dose of vaccine, the GCCF Veterinary Advisory Committee has agreed that kittens may be rehomed under the emergency provision of GCCF Rule: Section 1 10 b ii which requires the breeder to inform the GCCF Office with a valid reason for failure to vaccinate.

The kittens must be at least 12 weeks old and have had at least one health check by a veterinary surgeon before rehoming.

In order to comply with the emergency provision of GCCF Rule: Section 1 10 b ii please download and print a copy of the KITTEN HEALTH CHECK RECORD from the General Notices page of the GCCF website. The form is also available by post from the GCCF office on request. Please complete the KITTEN DETAILS section as instructed on the reverse of the form and give it to your veterinary surgeon when you present the kitten/s for their health check and ask them to complete and sign the VETERINARY SURGEON section of the form. Finally you must read, sign and date the BREEDERS DECLARATION at the bottom of the form.

Please send a signed copy of the form to the GCCF office (Email is acceptable –info@gccfcats.org) A copy of this should also be given to the new owner. The breeder must also advise the new owner that the kitten must be fully vaccinated by their own veterinary surgeon at the earliest opportunity. The new owner should also be advised that the kitten should be isolated from all other cats until at least 7 days after the 2nd dose of vaccine. Please check the website regularly for the latest information about the vaccine situation.

Dr Susan F Moreland BA Vet MB MRCVSGCCF    Veterinary Officer                  26th October 2021

You can download from here KITTEN HEALTH CHECK RECORD

Cats Protection 2021 Cats Report

This latest report on cats in the UK contains a lot of interesting data. If you would like to view it online you can see the digital version on www.cats.org.uk/stats

Thank you to the Show Managers of the 150th Show and the Virtual Show

Sean Farrell, GCCF Chairman, would like to express his gratitude to Lynda Ashmore and her team for their hard work organising the GCCF 150th Show at Stoneleigh.  Sean would also like to thank Carol Walker and her team for their hard work organising the virtual show.  Both shows were wonderful and a great success thanks to the hard work by all.

COVID REGULATIONS FOR ATTENDING SHOWS

GCCF BOARD GUIDANCE AND ADVICE FOR SHOW MANAGERS 

The Government guidelines for events can be found here:  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19/events-and-attractions

They allow a choice for entry requirements with the following advice:

Ensure you make any entry requirements (such as the NHS COVID Pass) clear to exhibitors before booking, and at the point of entry.

The Board fully endorses this as it is a close match with GCCF rules which allow for show management discretion.  A club can add any additional rules that it intends to enforce in addition to those required by the GCCF as long as they are stated within the schedule. It should also be remembered that show managers have the right to refuse entry to any exhibitor without needing to give a reason.

(Rules - Section 2:4g and 7d).

Exhibitors are recommended to check the terms and conditions of entry to each show for Covid requirements. They won’t necessarily be exactly the same. However, in all cases show managers will be acting within both the government guidelines and GCCF rules. Therefore they will have the Board’s full support for any Covid show entry requirement of their choosing for their event.

CHOCOLATE POINTED SIAMESE CC AGM

Many apologies to all but due to ill health, the CPSCC has had to postpone its AGM originally arranged for tomorrow, 16th October 2021. The committee will announce a new date and time as soon as possible.

We are very sorry for any inconvenience caused, particularly in view of the short notice.

Paul Fairclough
(Acting Sectetary, CPSCC)

Many apologies to all but due to ill health, the CPSCC has had to postpone its AGM originally arranged for tomorrow, 16th October 2021.

The committee will announce a new date and time as soon as possible.

We are very sorry for any inconvenience caused, particularly in view of the short notice.

Paul Fairclough
(Acting Sectetary, CPSCC)"

GUIDANCE FOR BREEDERS REGARDING THE CURRENT SHORTAGE OF CAT VACCINES

Unfortunately there is a worldwide vaccine shortage due to Covid related production issues combined with an increase in the number of cats needing vaccination.

The Veterinary Officer has contacted all the major UK vaccine manufacturers and they are all giving the same advice to veterinary practices which is to prioritise primary vaccination courses and delay booster vaccinations for up to 3 months.

There will be no rule change in relation to vaccination as the clause in Rule 1/10 b ii covers situations when a breeder cannot vaccinate kittens in an emergency. 

Breeders should make every effort to find a practice that will provide a complete vaccination course at the usual age ie 9 and 12 weeks.  It is most strongly recommended that you try to book a litter in as far ahead as possible ie at least 4/5 weeks before the first vaccine is due.  If you encounter difficulty please explain to the practice that vaccination prior to sale is a GCCF rule that is there for the protection and welfare of kittens up to 12/13 weeks of age before being released to their new homes.

If no practice in your area is able to either fully vaccinate kittens or give only a single dose of vaccine, the GCCF Veterinary Advisory Committee has agreed that kittens may be rehomed under the emergency provision of GCCF Rule 1/10 b ii which requires the breeder to inform the GCCF Office with a valid reason for failure to vaccinate.  The kittens must be at least 12 weeks old and have had at least one health check by a veterinary surgeon before rehoming.

 At present you are asked to send a copy of a Vet’s letter confirming that the kitten was not vaccinated due to a supply shortage and that a health check has been carried out on the kitten before it was rehomed.  A copy of this should also be given to the new owner. The breeder must also advise the new owner that the kitten must be fully vaccinated by their own veterinary surgeon at the earliest opportunity.  The new owner should also be advised that the kitten should be isolated from all other cats until at least 7 days after the 2nd dose of vaccine.

This is an interim measure.  The Veterinary Officer is preparing a form which can be used to make this process easier for the breeder and their veterinary surgeon and remove the need for a vet’s letter as all the necessary information will be covered by the form which will include a blank space for the kittens health check result and need to be signed by both breeder and vet before being sent to the office. The breeder will not need to inform the office in any other way if the form has been submitted correctly.   This form will be available to download from the GCCF website shortly. 

Please check the website regularly for the latest information.

Dr Susan F Moreland BA Vet MB MRCVS

GCCF Veterinary Officer

11th October 2021

5 October 2021    Notice to all Show Managers:

The decision made at the July Council meeting to allow exhibitors of titled cats a choice of classes can now be implemented as the GCCF’s procedures and systems have been updated. An exhibitor may choose to enter:  either the class for the title their cat is  working towards or the class for the title the cat has already achieved.

This is now operative for all shows who have not yet published their schedules, and it should be made clear within your schedule (using bold lettering) so that exhibitors are aware of the change.

PET VACCINES

The Veterinary Officers are aware of problems with the supply of pet vaccines.  There is a worldwide shortage due to increased demand coupled with some companies experiencing manufacturing problems.  As a result wholesalers are supplying vaccines on a rationed allocation basis agreed between the vaccine company and individual practices.

Many practices are prioritising primary vaccinations and booster vaccinations are being postponed for up to 3 months.

The GCCF Veterinary  Advisory Committee will be discussing this issue and the need for any temporary changes to GCCF vaccination rules at their meeting on Thursday 7th October.  An announcement will be made following the meeting.  In the meanwhile if anyone has concerns about the vaccination of their cats and kittens they are advised to contact their own veterinary practice.

Sue Moreland - GCCF Veterinary Officer

NORWEGIAN FOREST  CAT BAC

NFC BAC Meeting @11:00 on Sunday 24th October via Zoom. Please send any applications to the BAC SecretaryN at grey_cat_lover@hotmail.com prior to the meeting.

ELECTION RESULTS

The Election results are in and you will notice that there was a tie for 5th position on the Board. 

It is my intention to put the tied vote to council at the meeting on the 6th November 2021 to decide upon the outcome. 

There are a number of reasons for this which are:

  • It is not long until the Council meeting.
  • Having Civica do another round would cost more money and could also result in a tie.
  • Council should decide the outcome as they would normally.
  • It can quite simply be done by a vote in zoom if that is council's wish.

LINK TO RESULTS

Sean Farrell
GCCF Chairman

The Election results are in and you will notice that there was a tie for 5th position
on the Board.


It is my intention to put the tied vote to council at the meeting on the 6th November 2021 to decide upon the outcome.

There are a number of reasons for this which are:

It is not long until the Council meeting.

Having Civica do another round would cost more money and could also result in a tie.

Council should decide the outcome as they would normally.

It can quite simply be done by a vote in zoom if that is council's wish.

Sean Farrell
GCCF Chairman


GCCF APPEALS COMMITTEE

Applications are invited from people wishing to stand for the Appeals Committee, please see NOTICE. 

LOST PROPERTY AT THE CELEBRATION SHOW

Found at the Celebration show - small coin purse.

Please get in touch with details of colour etc and what is inside if you think it could be yours.

Lynda Ashmore

Southern & South Western Birman Cat Club AGM

The 2021 Annual General Meeting will take place on Sunday 24th October 2021 at 2pmThis year’s AGM will be held using Zoom online meetings. To join the meeting you will need to download the Zoom application to your device. A link to join the meeting will be included with the AGM paperwork and will also be emailed to Club members.


Nominations for committee positions are invited from any fully paid up Club members; and should be received by the Club Secretary, Jackie Pell, no later than Saturday 11th September 2021.  Proposals should be signed by the nominee, a proposer and a seconder, all of who should be fully paid up Club members, and should be accompanied by a brief statement about the nominee. We currently have a vacancy on the committee and would welcome your nominations.


If any Club member wishes to place an item on the AGM agenda, this should also be submitted to Club Secretary, Jackie Pell, in writing to arrive no later than Saturday 11th September 2021.  All items for the AGM agenda should be proposed and seconded by fully paid up Club members and the proposer must be present at the meeting in order for a vote to be taken.


GCCF BREEDER'S SCHEME UPDATE - 14 July 2021

GCCF Breeders Scheme was started approximately 8 years ago. It had the intention of putting the welfare of cats first as well as giving some confidence to new potential owners that the cats they were getting were not coming from backyard breeders”.

 

Since its launch, and increasingly over the past 18 months during Covid, it has become clear that the Scheme requires updating to make it more relevant to today’s environment.

 

A GCCF Working Group was set up to look at this issue earlier this year. The Group has investigated the current Scheme and similar schemes within other registering bodies as well as the Kennel Club Assured Breeders Scheme.

 

At the highest level, it is believed that the scheme should be made more objective/ evidence-based or new joiners/ members rather than subjective as it is currently. No firm recommendations have been made at the moment as we would like to give you the opportunity of inputting and providing your views, whether you are currently on the Scheme or not. The survey is also open to non-breeders as we feel the views of potential owners will be extremely useful.  Once the survey results have been reviewed this will enable a proposal to be put forward for further consideration before it goes to a future delegates meeting for consideration and approval.

 

A survey has been undertaken, and the results are being collated.  

 

In the meantime, it has been decided that the current scheme will be suspended to new applicants. It is important to stress that existing members will still be listed so there is nothing to do in the meantime and your renewal to the scheme should take place as usual.

 

TRAVEL TO EUROPE & N. IRELAND WITH YOUR PET FROM 1st JANUARY

This is the link to the DEFRA website for the relevant information for travel with your pet to Europe and also Northern Ireland.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pet-travel-to-europe-from-1-january-2021#travelling-to-the-eu-or-ni-with-your-pet

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

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

  

"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.