25th April, 2016
Ms Anger moved the acceptance of the Agenda, seconded by Mrs U’Ren and agreed unanimously.
The Secretary had not been advised on these but it was established that lunch would be at 1 p.m. Morning break at 11.30 and afternoon break according to the length of the meeting.
The Minutes had been circulated and the President pointed out that there had been no separate Minutes for the Executive meeting as it had been incorporated into the Business meeting. Mr Mays moved to accept the Minutes, seconded by Ms Anger and agreed unanimously. The Secretary passed round the hard copy for signatures.
The President had discussed with the Secretary the Statement that had been agreed in Auckland regarding the presence of wild cats at a cat show. There was no place in the Constitution or the By-Laws and he suggested that it should be put as a Statement on the WCC web site. Mr Crow thought it was a Statement that the Members could also put on their own web sites. The only other matter arising was the anniversary of the first cat show at the Crystal Palace and this had been put as a separate item on the agenda.
Election of a Vice-President for a period of two years.
Appointment of a Secretary/Treasurer for a period of two years
Mr Sagurski proposed the re-election of both Mrs U’Ren as Vice-President and Mrs Bydlinski as Secretary/Treasurer. Mr Mays seconded the proposal.
There was a discussion about whether the votes should be on paper or by a show of hands. As there was the possibility to vote against or to abstain, it was noted that all voting should be anonymous. Mr Crow could not see the point of abstaining if no other candidate was being proposed. Mr Möbius said that it depended upon what law was being used; in Germany an abstention changed the majority achieved. It was decided to use paper votes and Laureline Malineau and her assistant agreed to act as scrutineers.
As there were no other candidates, one paper vote was taken for both positions. Both candidates were elected unanimously. Mrs U’Ren and Mrs Bydlinski thanked the Members.
The meeting then went into Executive Session and the visitors left the room.
At the conclusion of the Executive Session, the President and Secretary of the Thai club had joined the visitors and the WCC President took the opportunity to formally express the appreciation of the WCC and its delegates for the splendid hospitality that had been extended. He spoke of the luxurious room in which the Seminar had been held, with especial mention of the toilets, which had been quite amazingly equipped, of the dinner cruise which had been so relaxing and of the Banquet on Saturday night with the beautiful Thai dancers. His only complaint was that the wine had kept coming; something he had only realized when he woke up the next morning. The President of the Thai club thanked him and said it could be done again sometime.
The meeting then continued with the Agenda.
Ms Malineau presented an update on the Encyclopaedia. She showed a form, which gave the contents and whether or not the item was completed or waiting to be laid out etc. The first version was, of course, in French and she showed one of the formatted pages on the history of the WCC. There were several items still to be finished, including a history of the cat fancy, a glossary, an item on genetics by Leslie Lyons and introductions of the organisations of the Member bodies of the WCC.
There was still a problem with photos of some breeds, primarily the German Rex. She pointed out that these pictures needed to be in a high resolution, preferably o n a light background and the right to use them was also necessary. There was a budget for photographs but the photographer needed also to sign a contract. A forward was also needed. She thought it would be helpful if the glossary also contained information about the meaning of titles and what was required to attain them. The Secretary pointed out that as it varied from one organisation to another, it would have to be thought about. Colour names and patterns should also be in the glossary. The Secretary would work on that. Ms Malineau showed completed pages illustrating the photos with a white background.
Moving to another subject, Ms Malineau said that Royal Canin planned a Breeders Convention for 2017 in La Motte (airport Montpellier). At these conventions they invited breeders of dogs or cats. The plan for 2017 was to have a convention on show cats and they would like to launch the Encyclopedia at the same time. They would like to invite the delegates of the WCC to participate in the convention. She thought it would be good for the breeders to meet the delegates and talk about shows and the history of WCC. The date had not yet been set as she wanted to speak to the delegates to see about a time that was convenient for all. The book should be completed by the end of the current year and they would like a launch date in the first half of the next year. The best months were April, May and June. After discussion it was thought that early June would be a good time. In discussing aspects of showing which would be talked about, Mr Crow thought it very important that emphasis was put on the fancy’s concern for the health of the cats; he thought this was very necessary in view of the negativity that was experienced about breeding pedigree cats.
In response to concern over cost expressed by one of the delegates, Ms Malineau clarified that the delegates would be the guests of Royal Canin.
Looking ahead, she had an idea for a future project on which Royal Canin and the WCC could work together. This was to build a course for breeders. The good thing would be that there was collaboration and there would be the same level for breeders. She recalled the discussion the previous year when it had been emphasized the need for breeders to belong to a major organization and this would implement that. They were currently doing a course for dog breeders. It was in digital form and could be done on line. In France the breeders had to be registered breeders and Royal Canin was working with the National Veterinary School. She believed something similar could be produced for cat breeders and it could also be an on-line course. She was aware that some federations already had something similar. The President commented that in some countries there was legislation with which breeders must comply. Mr Möbius said that WCF held seminars for breeders. They lasted over 27 hours and those who successfully completed the course became ‘Breeders of Excellence.’ Mr Crow said that GCCF had been working in the UK with Royal Canin on a similar thing and were using their ‘cat wise’ web site. They also consulted with International Cat Care who did an advanced diploma for breeders. They had been concerned about the lack of understanding amongst their breeders who, even if they had been breeding a number of years, did not understand basic cat genetics, the process of mating, pregnancy or birth or the alarm signals which go with these processes. GCCF very much supported the idea that was being suggested.
Mrs Hackmann informed Ms Malineau that she had photographs of German Rex and would send them with the photographer’s permission.
As it was 11.45 a short coffee break was taken.
The President gave the floor to Mr Crow who said that the Secretary had spoken to him and asked whether GCCF would be interested in hosting the meeting that year. He had spoken to John Hansson and another member of the board who had been at the Seminar. They had both thought it would be a good idea. He felt that there was plenty of time to organize it and it was viable. Ideally, it would be great to hold the show at Crystal Palace but that might not be possible, as the hall had been refurbished. Another alternative was Alexandra Palace, which was a venue for many shows in the late 1970s and 80s, and also had the same physical attributes as the Crystal Palace. However, there were problems in doing things in London as both venues and hotels would be extremely expensive. Other venues would have to be considered. He would be interested to know what the other Members would like to see done on this occasion. Pointing out that five years ahead it was difficult to know if any of the WCC traditional speakers would be available, he pointed out for example that Tim Gruffyd-Jones would be in his seventies by then. It was necessary to look at up and coming cat specialists. If the board of GCCF would support the idea, he proposed to set up a work group to start planning, raising sponsorship and finding things of interest. They would want to market the event, and, for example, try to get the BBC interested. Input from other organisations would be essential.
The President said that whilst he very much appreciated Mr Crow’s enthusiasm, he did not think it necessary to concentrate on the Crystal Palace or London. He thought it would be enough if it were to take place in Britain. The price of venues in major cities was astronomical. He spoke of the rent for the show hall in Rome, which had been Euros 100,000. Mr Crow agreed and said that the NBC in Birmingham was the venue for their National show. It was easy for all concerned to reach Birmingham and also gave good access to international flights.
Mrs Morgan mentioned John Smithson, a New Zealand cat historian as well as Amanda Bright and Lorraine Shelton, who she felt sure would be happy to contribute to the commemorative aspect. Ms Anger said that their Museum curator, Karen Lawrence would also be a possibility. Mr Crow said that contributions particularly from the United States were important, as although the concept started in the UK, it spread very quickly to the United States and elsewhere and it would be nice to embrace that early history and not make it too focused on the UK. The President said that about ten FIFe Members also dated from that period although FIFe itself had not then been founded.
No questions had been raised at the meeting.
Mr van Rooyen asked if it would be possible to have a copy of the WCC presentation as well as the presentation from the first Thai veterinarian and Ms Lalovic’s work on the Thai cats. The SACC members were anxious to get more feedback. The Secretary asked whether Mr van Rooyen had ever looked at her report, which appeared on the WCC web site, as it was very detailed. She suggested that in future she should send it out to the Members.
Mrs Morgan said that she had really liked the PowerPoint and the way that the members had slotted into it. She suggested that it could become a fixture as although the delegates all knew the history, those attending the open meeting did not necessarily know about it. The President said that other delegates had also suggested that this should be a standard item, which could be updated on a regular basis.
Mrs Morgan also asked that note should be taken about the Open Meeting at which local members could be included and their thoughts discussed and brought to the Business Meeting. The President said that he thought this year the problem had been that the cat fancy was so young.
Ms Anger gave a brief summary of the current situation. Rhonda, who accompanied her to the meeting, had already done some of the legwork in that she had a date and judges in mind. However, one of the club members was able to tell her that a big marathon in Las Vegas fell on the same date, which had been 26th March. When this marathon happened, the freeway was closed down and travel to Vegas was impossible.
They were trying to find another date, which would be advised to WCC as soon as possible but it would be March. Ms Anger said that they were also liaising with TICA on their show schedules, as they wanted as much involvement with American exhibitors as possible. The association had really supported this and wanted to put on a spectacular event.
The President said that the Secretary had spoken to Mr Sagurski and himself about this and he felt they would like to have it in Europe in 2018 but he had no concrete date at present. They needed to find a show where most of the delegates could be used as judges. However, having said that, he referred to the WCF request to use judges for one day only. He found this a great idea and enabled more judges to be used. They would look into possibilities.
Mr van Rooyen said that SACC might be interested in hosting in 2019. It would be best if it could be together with their Cat of the Year at the end of July. They could use those delegates who were all-breed judges. It would be in Cape Town when the weather was a little cooler, it could also be rainy and windy.
The Secretary asked if the Constitution needed to be changed to accommodate a judge for one day only but when this was checked it was found that no conditions were actually set out.
The President repeated that he would discuss further with Mr Sagurski as he had a show near Frankfurt in March. He would also consult with his board.
Mr Crow asked to return to the subject of 2021. The first show had been in July and he asked if July were an acceptable time, as the weather might be better. Most delegates would be happy for it to be in July.
The President pointed out that WCC had no secretary at that time. The Secretary said that if the old Minutes were consulted, it would be seen that everything, except breeder education, had been addressed. The President suggested that it might be a good idea to go through the Minutes and create a document called ‘Decisions taken at previous World Cat Congress meetings’ listed under different headings, e.g. show, breeding, health, general etc. and have such a document as an annex to the Rules. Mr Crow thought it would be very helpful as those attending were not aware of the history. The President offered his help and Mrs Morgan also offered to assist.
The Secretary referred to the matter of show dates. She said that there had been a lot of concern in the past in the UK with TICA putting on a show on the same date as one previously booked by another body. Kay DeVilbiss had tried hard to get TICA in the UK to respect others dates. She didn’t know if this was still the situation. Mr Crow said that to some extent it was. Ireland had had to cancel its Supreme show because TICA had a show the weekend before and took all the cats.
Mrs Morgan said they had a problem with the Supreme in Tasmania when another organisation took a date that was an established regular date; she observed that this did not help the cat fancy. Mr Crow thought it was a problem in smaller areas where the exhibiting population was limited.
Mr Möbius mentioned that over 200 clubs were involved and the President queried how such a large number of registries could be controlled. Mr Möbius said that they had only about 100 registries in the whole world and these they could control. They were currently working on a central registering system with a means of unique identification on the pedigree.
The President had another question for Mr Möbius; he had heard during the weekend that a cat coming from outside of WCF had to go through a novice class. Mr Möbius said that was not so. A cat coming from a non-WCC member had to go through a novice class and all Thai registered cats also as they did not have the required number of generations on their pedigrees. He said that there was a cat from CFA at the show; the breeder had not wanted to register the cat. It was a special case; the breeder had agreed to register the cat only if it gained an excellent at the show.
The President then referred to a practice in several European countries whereby pedigrees coming from any WCC Member bodies were treated and charged at the same rate as those nationally. However, pedigrees coming from small independent organisations were subject to a much higher charge as they tended to be full of mistakes and genetically incorrect and this required a lot of extra work. He also pointed out that FIFe clubs would only accept an official pedigree from TICA, CFA etc. and not one issued by a local club. They had contacted a TICA club in the Czech Republic issuing pedigrees with the EMS codes and told them that only official pedigrees would be accepted. Mr Mays said that if such pedigrees were sent to the TICA Registration office, they would be verified.
Mr Möbius said they had big problems with TICA clubs in Germany. The clubs issued pedigrees and the purchasers believed they were TICA registered. They subsequently found out that the cats were not registered with TICA so they then registered them direct. The result was that those cats had two registration numbers. He wished that TICA could arrange something with those clubs whereby they could register the cats but make it clear that they must be registered with TICA officially. These clubs are legally registered clubs in Germany and would be able to go to court and get a ruling that their pedigrees must be accepted.
There was some discussion over the legal position of cats whereby courts are not influenced by pedigrees and registrations but simply accepted the owner as being the person who had cared for the cat in their home.
WCF had no system. If the judge was from a WCC Member body, it just needed to be notified.
The President explained the situation within FIFe whereby if a judge asked for permission to judge, for example, for a South African club, permission would be given. If a judge officiated at a non-FIFe show without permission and this became known to the FIFe board, that judge would be disciplined. Generally speaking permission was always given. However, FIFe had a rule that permission could not be given to a judge to officiate at a non-FIFe show if there was a FIFe show within 400 kilometres or within the same country. That was problematic because in a country the size of Russia, for example, two shows could be about four thousand kilometres apart and permission in such a case would be given. There was also the rule that 75% of the judges at a FIFe show must be FIFe judges. FIFe does not make differences about WCC Member bodies, but any judge, whom a member wishes to invite, must be licensed in his own organization.
Mr van Rooyen then asked what the procedure was if the judge was not attached to a WCC Member. WCF has a rule of two WCF judges to one non-WCF judge, but they counted a judge from a WCC member as being a WCF judge. A non- WCC judge would have to send all the documentation they had to their Judges Committee, which would then evaluate the examinations that had been taken. This could lead to problems with the judges of non-WCC Members, as they might not have the correct education.
Mrs Morgan said that the ACF by-laws, which were published on the website, covered which association’s judges were recognised. These were confined to WCC Members and Mrs Lowe said that New Zealand also only accepted judges from WCC Member bodies.
The President pointed out that FIFe did not distinguish between judges from WCC or non-WCC Members. The only requirement was that they were licensed with their own organisation.
Me Mays confirmed that it was the judge who should be contacted and it was for them to go to their Member body for permission.
The President referred to Mr Möbius’s mention of the first world show in China. He felt that the concept “World Show” had been devalued. FIFe had one World Show per year. These shows were currently booked ahead until 2034. As he understood it within WCF a World show could occur ten or twenty times a year, no minimum amount of cats was specified and no conditions for entry, it was just a certificate to be won. FIFe has ‘World Winners” whilst WCF has “World Champions” so people could know the difference. The GCCF has one “Supreme” per year. Other Members have their “National” shows, once a year. Mr Möbius said they had an “Olympian” show once a year, which will be equivalent to the Supreme or the National. Asked about the number of exhibits at the GCCF's Supreme, Mr Crow said that in the last couple of years it was about one thousand. The President then asked Mr Möbius how many cats had been at the Olympic show in Bucharest and was told 130. The President found it very worrying that WCF member clubs could organize an international show with thirty or forty exhibits. The President said that whilst each Member had its own rules, they should realize that by devaluing the meaning of a “World” show, it affected all the Members, as the public did not know these differences, they simply came to a cat show and expected to see a large amount of cats.
Mr van Rooyen asked what GCCF did about guest judges. Mr Crow said they had a list of judges, who had judged for them before and were acceptable. Application for a visiting judge had to be made and if it was one not on the list, then more details would have to be given. The show managers held a list, it was also available from the GCCF office.
The meeting adjourned for lunch at 1 p.m.
After the break the Agenda point of Any Other Business was continued further.
The President understood this was an announcement from WCF regarding those cats. He said that it was probably twenty-five years since a Turkish Van had been put into the novice class in FIFe and the Turkish Angora was not an original breed but had been created by British breeders. Mr Möbius had named the breeder concerned in Cyprus and the President thought that was not correct within the forum of the WCC. It was evident that there was a man who was ‘very creative’ with the rules and he would advise WCF to take appropriate action and get a TICA breeder to write to TICA as he felt sure that Mr Mays could not do anything about it. He did not think that the information had any relevance for the WCC. It was a local problem. Mr Möbius said it was meant as a warning and not something on which action was to be taken. If it was not relevant, then he apologized and would withdraw it.
The President understood them to be a non-pointed cat. He said that some years ago FIFe had brought in a proposal to stop Burmese coming through the novice class. He had personally objected as the reason had been to avoid the colours that were being bred in New Zealand and he felt that a breeder should read a pedigree and choose whether or not to include those lines; for him health was the priority.
Mrs U’Ren said they had an application to allow a mating with a self-coloured Thai cat, as it was very close in type and coat texture to a Burmese.
The President enquired whether hypokalaemia was a problem with Burmese and Mr Crow confirmed it was as well as other conditions. He had been working with Leslie Lyons to create an outcross programme for the British Burmese, which were very inbred. As well as hypokalaemia and some flat chested kittens, they also had a very high instance of type 2 Diabetes, oral facial syndrome and increased instances of cancer. Prominent Burmese breeders in the UK did not even want to discuss outcrossing. He had suggested outcrossing to Asians, Korats and Burmese restriction Tonkinese and also bringing in original cats from Thailand but to date he had made no progress against the resistance of the breeders. They regarded it as a threat to their breed. They would only accept pedigrees with twelve generations of full Burmese.
At this point the President wanted to warn everybody that not out-crossing, as also practiced in the dog fancy, would have consequences from governments, particularly within Europe. In Holland at the moment it was being discussed as to whether each dog judge’s decision should be ratified by a veterinarian. They did not want the problems such as Bulldogs being unable to give birth naturally, Cavalier King Charles with their brain problems or the German Shepherd with serious hip dysplasia. They had warned the dog fancy and as nothing had been done, they would enforce controls. He thought the same would happen with cats. The breeds had been created by outcrossing, so he could not see a problem with this. It was for the health of the animals and the fancy would have to realise that or face these consequences.
He said that FIFe had made some changes in its standards for the health of the cat, for example the words ‘very short back’ in the Manx had been changed to ‘short back.’ In the Sphynx the amount of wrinkles should not be such that interrupt the normal physical behavior of the cat. In the Persian, in most registries, the point that the nostrils should be well opened. The dog standards did not have such things; they tended to go towards extremes. He felt that if the cat fancy did not regulate its breeders itself, then it would be taken out of their hands.
Mr Möbius cited an example in Germany where a Don Sphynx was HCM positive but the breeder would not neuter him. The media however did not pick up on the HCM situation but pointed at the fact that the cat was naked. There was another instance at a show in Stuttgart where the state veterinarian had to put a notice on every cage stating that the cat was mentioned in the “anti-cruel breeding” campaign and, in effect, this included about 80% of the cats in the show as conditions such as white cats, naked cats, curly haired cats, black cats and others were considered not ‘normal’ in the eyes of the State. The breeders went to the High Court in Germany and protested as the list which the State vet was working from was a list of possible cruel breeding and the State had taken it as being the law. This had taken place in Baden-Württemburg. Within Germany the States had independent laws.
The President acknowledged that there was interference from the government in some countries, he quoted a case in Austria where a Don Sphynx was without whiskers, the veterinarian said he would return in half a year and suggested euthanizing the cat as it was against the law to have a breeding cat without whiskers. The President thought, however, it was not that simple as the government agents did not have the right to enter a person’s house and interfere with his property.
Mrs Morgan said that the previous year ACF had passed faults in all breeds, which precluded the awarding of a certificate; reduced nose leather and/or restricted or pinched nasal aperture, audible or mouth breathing and cow hocking. These faults had been included in individual breed standards but, she said, they appeared also in other breeds. The President concurred as FIFe had had those things as a fault for many years, although not the words “cow hocking” as this was not understandable to non-English speakers but was expressed differently. These rules that Mrs Morgan had stated were written for English speakers and had to be adapted to international language. He commented that it was difficult to assess what was unhealthy as he had two older dogs who snorted and snored but were also able to run about and were healthy, he had also seen Persians with long noses and good nostrils that had snorted and whilst it was difficult to generalise, it was necessary to have these things in the rules to show that the fancy was concerned with the health of the cat.
Referring again to what Mr Crow had said about outcrossing in England, he did not know what to say. Mr Crow said that the GCCF, as a registering body, did not have the authority to impose anything; there had been three votes on outcrossing and each time the proposal had been defeated in the Burmese although other breeds accepted it. The Secretary pointed out to Mr Crow that the situation in the UK had come about since the ban on importing Burmese. Mr Crow agreed saying that the breeders were scared of the head defect and were still hanging on to those things. The President said that the gene for this defect was not limited to the Burmese and anyway there were now tests available.
The President commented that whilst they were testing for the head defect in Burmese, they should also test those cats with the copper eye colour as to whether they had the cbcb gene as he considered it an impossibility. This was being seen increasingly in cats coming from ‘down under.’ He felt there was a strong British ‘perfume’ about some of those Burmese. He went on to say that as a judge he could only go according to the standard. It was up to the breeders as to what the standard said but unfortunately the breeders tended to follow the judges. He also spoke about the secondary register that FIFe had for cats without three generations on their pedigree. He thought it all very strange since all our breeds/varieties are the result of cross mating and how many breeds did we actually have. He had been surprised by Leslie Lyon’s information regarding the different origins/breeds. The Secretary said she had been talking to Leslie about genes mutating. It had been in the context of the Russet that had appeared only in New Zealand where interbreeding between Burmese and Mandalay was allowed. Prof. Lyons had also mentioned different manifestations of the silver gene and she had asked Leslie whether it might be possible that the silver gene was working there and had produced this strange colour.
The President felt that breeding had become very different in recent years. It was very good for the laboratories but not so good for the breeders. A purchaser now wanted to know if the kitten was free of disease, how long would it live etc. There had been a proposal in the Czech Republic that all cats should have obligatory testing for the diseases that were known in their breed. He was against this as he felt it would kill the cat fancy. There were some obligatory tests but these were only if there were problems with the individual breeder. He joked that it had been more fun not knowing what colours the cat carried, as it was a nice surprise when the kittens were born.
Ms Anger enquired about the News Page on the WCC web site. Mrs Lowe was collating this but if nothing was sent, nothing would be published. The Secretary reminded the delegates that every three months they should send in their news. She also said that she was hoping to finish the Breed Comparison item on the web site, but she had been too busy with the Royal Canin project to do more. She would contact the delegates in due course about the breeds still to be completed.
Mr Eric Reijers (President of WCC and in the Chair)
Mrs. Cheryle U’Ren (Vice-President and delegate of CCCA)
Mrs. Lesley Morgan (Delegate of ACF)
Ms. Rachel Anger (Delegate of CFA)
Mr Dietmar Sagurski (Delegate of FIFe)
Mr. Steve Crow (Delegate of GCCF)
Mrs. Chris Lowe (Delegate of NZCF)
Mr Jan van Rooyen (Delegate of SACC)
Mr. Fate Mays (Delegate of TICA)
Mrs. Anneliese Hackmann (Delegate of WCF)