ELECTIONS FOR IC / DC
18 Apr 2018
ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE JUNE 2018 ELECTIONS
You no longer have to be a delegate to stand for GCCF’s three Disciplinary Committees (Appeals, Disciplinary and Investigations).
For those interested there are just two criteria:
1. You must be bound by GCCF rules (be a GCCF owner, breeder and/or exhibitor).
2. Have some qualifications and experience in GCCF and/or your everyday life that make you suitable
Your signature will be on a registration, transfer and/or show entry to prove the first, so make sure you supply your name and address for a computer check. (You can give your address separately if you do not wish it to be printed).
For the second, read the role descriptions that follow this announcement carefully and make an application. You will also find it useful to look at page 8 in the GCCF Byelaws where the Committees are defined.
Elections for two members for The Investigations and Disciplinary Committees will take place at the June Electoral Meeting of Council. (Elections for the Appeals Committee will be held at the October Meeting.)
If you are interested in joining either of these, you should write an application statement, using no more than one side of A4 paper, which describes how you fulfil the qualities required for the role. The two members standing down, and those who are currently IC or DC reserves, are eligible to stand.
You may apply for more than one, but please put them in order of preference, as you can only be on one of these committees.
If you are/have been on one the committees don’t forget to include this. However, experience from your other hobbies, or from qualifications and employment may be relevant, so let delegates know about this. You do not have to be a lawyer, we simply seek the right people, who are passionate about maintaining fairness and justice in GCCF.
Send in your application to the GCCF Office by 30 April. You can do this by email or post. All applications received will be published with the Council agenda, so be aware that information you give will be in the public domain.
Committee Member Role Descriptions
The Disciplinary Committee is scheduled to meet four times a year, usually midweek in central London.
Documents are circulated prior to the meeting and need to be analysed and the relevant information extracted to avoid being side-tracked at the Disciplinary Hearing.
Disciplinary Committee members must have a totally unbiased approach to a case and ignore any irrelevant information acquired either prior to or during a hearing. They must maintain impartiality throughout and remember there can be no public discussion of the case, or those concerned in it, in advance of the hearing.
Disciplinary Committee members must recuse themselves from any case that they have any direct or indirect association with, or with which they may be perceived as having an interest.
A Committee member must be able to interview a witness, to put them at ease, and be prepared to assess live evidence.
If a case is proven, decision must be made on appropriate action.
Discussions in Disciplinary hearings must be treated with total confidentiality and discretion at all times.
discretion, analytical powers, judgement, the ability to work within a quasi-judicial setting.
The purpose of the Investigation Committee is to examine complaints from any source relating to GCCF activity, and to decide whether there is a prima facie case to answer or not. If the answer is ‘no case’ the complainant is informed accordingly; if the answer is ‘yes’, a case may be prepared for presentation to the Disciplinary Committee, or a fixed penalty applied.
A member of the Investigation Committee is required to:
1. Attend all meetings of the Investigation Committee and, in addition, be prepared to attend Disciplinary Committee Meetings when required.
2. Respond by email to requests relating to Casework, whether cases likely to be heard by the Disciplinary Committee, or dealt with by Fixed Penalty. Such requests are normally accompanied by complaints and witness statements; these must be read and assessed by each Committee member.
3. Prepare for meetings by reading many hundreds of pages of information from all parties prior to taking the papers to the meetings. There is not sufficient time to read the papers at the meetings themselves.
4. Have the ability to ‘sift’ through the information supplied, extracting the relevant facts in a fair and unbiased way, to ensure that a just conclusion is reached. Cases rarely hinge on one fact, right or wrong, but usually a number of different facts need to be taken into account, both for and against.
5. Be aware of the need for absolute discretion at all times; all of the material involved is confidential and may not be discussed outside the committee.
6. Have a good working knowledge of the GCCF Byelaws, GCCF Rules and the BAC Constitution and Rules.
7. Be able to assist the Committee Secretary when required, usually by email, telephone, or fax.
ability to read and assess large quantities of written information, discretion, analytical powers, and impartial judgement.
(If anyone requires further information, or has questions, please contact the GCCF Office)
NB A person can serve on only one of the three disciplinary committees
If elected to the GCCF Board of Directors you cannot serve on the Disciplinary or Appeals Committee and there will be only two Board members on the Investigation Committee. (If more than two Board members stand it will be the two who poll the highest number of votes.)
All members of the Disciplinary Committees will be required to sign a Code of Conduct in accordance with Byelaw 11(11). Please read this in advance and do not stand for election if you would not wish to sign to accept the Declaration of Office.
CODE OF CONDUCT
GCCF Business Achievements 2012-2017
23 Feb 2018
Read about our achievements from the 5 Year Business Plan here
22 Nov 2017
The Council meeting in October ran out of time to review the IT Update, so I’ve summarised what would have been said, to get you all up-to-date. There is a brief progress update, but the most important updates will affect Clubs in particular, and there are links to more detail on these.
Good progress has been made in addressing the High Priority items – and regular updates have been posted.
GCCFI online will be available from Monday 9th October – our first step to International!
Upcoming changes will include improved services for Breeder Scheme members.
IT Strategy for 2018 will be published following the agreement of the Business Plan.
GCCF is pleased to be launching a new service that will save Clubs money & time, and provide online entries for shows for exhibitors. The Board has agreed that all clubs who pilot this service will receive their first show processing free of charge. Read more details here.
The General Data Protection Regulation comes into force on 25th May 2018. This has significant implications for GCCF and for Clubs. Read more details here and make sure your Club is prepared.
If you have any queries on the above, please contact the office at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can contact me at email@example.com
IT Project Manager
SUPREME CAT 2017
29 Oct 2017
The 2017 Supreme Winner is a fabulous Brown Tabby & White Bi-Colour Persian Neuter
Imp Gr Ch & Supreme OS Imp Gr Pr Cullykhan Vivaldi
Owner: Carol Tonks
Breeder: Angelia Millican
SUPREME SHOW 2017
26 Sep 2017
SUPREME SHOW 2017
12 Sep 2017
Please note that the official closing date for entries to the 2017 Supreme Show is 22nd September, online entries may be made up to 24th September.
Entries will automatically be upgraded to new classes if new titles are awarded at shows up to 8th October.
THESE DATES CANNOT BE EXTENDED TO ACCOMMODATE LATE ENTRIES.
SUPREME SHOW 2017
08 Aug 2017
On-line entry for the 2017 GCCF Supreme Show on Saturday 28th October at the NEC, Birmingham is now open. You can download the guide to entering the show here
Household Pet Registration
11 May 2017
From the 1st June 2017, all Household Pets must be registered in order to claim further titles.
Here are some key points:
- It is not necessary for Household Pets to be registered in order to continue to be shown, but they must be to win further titles.
- If a cat already has a title, it can continue to show in the class its current title allows
- If a cat is already a GCCF Registered cat, to earn further titles, it will need to marked as such. There is no fee for this.
- If a Household Pet is a look-a-like pedigree pet, but not GCCF registered it will need to go through the full registration process.
- Household Pets, pedigree and non-pedigree, can be registered online, or by post
- Registration can be done at the time of application for the next title.
- The fee for registering a HHP is £10.
We have produced a leaflet, which you can request from the GCCF Office.
Review of Animal Welfare Act 2006
16 Mar 2017
Review of Animal Welfare Act 2006 and potential implications for cat breeding
There is currently an amount of both incorrect and unsubstantiated information being circulated on social media and elsewhere relating to the proposed revision of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, along with some speculation on what the legislation might mean for cat breeders. I don’t wish to prevent discussion, but I’m aware that a number of breeders are becoming very concerned about the implications, as some have contacted me directly, and I’m saddened that rumour may be causing a fair amount stress for some.
Firstly, let me reiterate some points I have made before, but which may not have reached all: ·
- The GCCF is a member of the Canine & Feline Sector Group (CFSG) and I attend all meetings of the group. ·
- The CFSG is fully involved in the work relating to the proposed legislation (which is an amendment to the existing Animal Welfare Act 2006), and has been given an oversight role by DEFRA. ·
- There is no Bill as yet specifying the amendments because the scope of this is still being debated. ·
- The CFSG will see and be consulted upon the proposed changes and licensing conditions once they are drafted. ·
- This drafting work is currently underway and CFSG is receiving updates at every meeting ·
- Most importantly, the Bill Lord Black introduced some time ago is dead and not anything directly to do with the current work. Its clauses on regulating cat breeding have not been carried forward.
Over the past day or so I have checked on the progress made to date by the Expert Panel charged with drafting the Model Licensing Conditions. I mentioned this panel in my previous update – this is the group established by DEFRA as a working group to write the model conditions. The panel is made up on some members of the CFSG plus representatives from local authorities and it has been meeting since January.
My latest information is things are at the early stages right now and are still gaining shape, but it is absolutely clear to me that DEFRA do not want to be heavy handed and they want any proposals to be realistic. There is a good deal of work still to be done in drafting the model conditions, most of the discussion so far has focussed on dog breeding, with some discussion also on licensing conditions for boarding kennels and catteries. There has been very little mentioned as yet on cat breeding.
DEFRA intend that new licensing regulations will be enshrined in law as part of the revision to the Animal Welfare Act. The Model Licensing Conditions as currently being formulated do not include a specific Condition for cat breeding; there is a specific Condition for dogs, and one specifically for dog and cat boarding. Cat breeding will be covered under a third generic Condition.
Under the vending regulations anyone who runs a business breeding and/or selling animals will have to obtain a licence, but that will not stop people breeding from a home environment. They will have to show that the health and welfare of the animals is being provided for and that they are meeting certain standards.
As yet there is no definition of what constitutes a breeding business. I am assuming that there will be some threshold level or set of circumstances specified which will be used in determining this status, but cannot comment further as this panel is still to address this issue. I know that DEFRA are concerned about the number of puppies, kittens and other animals being sold via the internet, and this may be part of the definition. There has been absolutely no mention of the need for planning permission in order to obtain a breeder’s license.
The Canine & Feline Sector Group is working with the British Veterinary Association and the Pet Industry Federation alongside DEFRA to make sure the new draft regulations are fit for purpose and ensure high standards of welfare without causing unnecessary burdens for hobby breeders and business. As a CFSG member the GCCF is able to advocate for cat breeders during the process. As I have said, all proposals will run via the Group when they have been formed.
The next meeting of the CFSG is 24th March and licensing conditions is a specific item on the agenda.
I have discussed all of the above with the GCCF Board and have considered with them what we might do to prepare for breeder licensing. One thing I have suggested is that we explore accreditation for GCCF under UK Accreditation Service conditions.
The Kennel Club already hold UKAS accreditation for their Assured Breeder Scheme and I have a meeting with KC representatives next Friday, 24th March, to find out more about the process they followed to gain accreditation, along with it cost in terms of time and money. I also want to understand what benefits this gives to licensed dog breeders who are members of the Assured Breeder Scheme. There is an obvious read across to the GCCF Breeder Scheme and UKAS accreditation of our scheme could be beneficial once the new licensing condition are in place.
I will issue further updates once I have more information to share. In the meantime I do urge people not to make assumptions that cannot have basis in facts, as so much as yet remains to be determined.
Steve Crow - GCCF Chairman
Review of Animal Welfare Act 2006
27 Feb 2017
Review of Animal Welfare Act 2006 and potential implications for cat breeding
I have posted statements in the past to give you information about the Cat Welfare Bill introduced to the Lords by Lord Black and about the Government’s review of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. At the time of the last in May 2016 GCCF had just submitted written evidence to the Westminster Select Committee for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs charged with gathering information on which to base future proposals, and was represented in person at the Committee carrying out the same task in Edinburgh for the Scottish Parliament.
I gave a verbal update to GCCF Council last week on development to date and took some questions from delegates on the possible implications for GCCF breeders. I am aware that there has been comment and speculation over the past week on this matter and that people are concerned about what this means for our hobby. In the interest of clarity I am stating here the current known facts.
DEFRA has indicated an intention to review and update the regulations and licensing requirements relating to the breeding and boarding of companion animals, and of specific interest to us are any proposals related to cats (and dogs). In doing this DEFRA has sought advice and proposed models for how this might work. A part of this addresses regulations to cover pet vending from private premises (our homes), as well as reviewing the terms of existing licensing for commercial pet shops and boarding establishments.
At the end of 2016 DEFRA stated it proposed to expand its national group on licensing conditions, comprised of local authority representatives, to give it a broader role as a DEFRA expert panel to assist in the development of the licensing reforms. The RSPCA, Kennel Club, Battersea, Pet Industry Federation, Cats Protection and the British Veterinary Association were invited to assist drafting New Animal Licensing Regulations alongside local authority representatives.
In addition, George Eustice made a statement in the House on 9th January in answer to a parliamentary question. He stated: “As part of the review of animal establishment licensing schemes, the Government is proposing to remove the licensing exceptions in the Pet Animals Act 1951. These exemptions are for those in the business of selling either pedigree animals that have been bred by them or the offspring of an animal that has been kept by them as a pet, for instance, the offspring of their non-pedigree cat. We will be publishing our ‘Next Steps’ document on the proposal shortly.”
We need to await the publication of ‘Next Steps’ to see the detail. No date has been set for its publication as far as I can ascertain. I know work is ongoing on the model licensing conditions, a risk based assessment framework for animal activities licensing, and guidance to accompany the regulations, so there is a way to go yet before any precise information is released.
GCCF was not asked to participate on the licensing panel, nor were many other small organisations, including International Cat Care (formerly FAB). The large charities with their multi-million pound turnovers, giving an ability to run high profile national campaigns, carry far greater clout.
However, there will be consultations deriving from its work which potentially will involve the wider membership of DEFRA’s Canine & Feline Sector Group. GCCF has had membership of this since its organisation, and I have established many useful links with other members, including the Kennel Club, which shares many of the same concerns about licensing regulations. There is no intention to relinquish GCCF’s current position and I will be looking for opportunities to input into the consultative process whenever possible.
As I said in Council I think it’s important that GCCF does not react defensively, or with any form of outrage, to what may be proposed. It’s essential that we are designated as a forward thinking self regulating authority, to establish a recognised position with those drafting the legislation, and limit its impact on breeders who register with us, if at all possible. The link below concerns dogs, but indicates where I believe our path forward could lie. We have to demonstrate we are responsible breeders who do not need to be targeted - (see paragraph immediately after the quote from Battersea). Local Authorities efforts should lie with control of the ‘back-street’ businesses:
I shall be discussing this matter with the Board again at our meeting on the 7th March; there is also a meeting of the CFSG later in March. I will give more information as and when it is available.
The "Next Steps" document mentioned above is now available at:
Steve Crow GCCF Chairman