Brno, Czech Republic
7th May, 2012
The President opened the meeting at 9.45. All delegates were present and the absence of the New Zealand delegate was noted with regret and would be referred to later. The breaks during the day were set as follows:
Approval of the Minutes of 2011
Moved by Mrs Fisher, seconded by Mr Trevathan and accepted unanimously.
Business arising from Minutes of 2011
There was no business arising from the previous minutes.
Matters for discussion
Mrs Morgan Blythe asked if some more simple matters could be dealt with before going to the proposals but the President did not think it was necessary.
a) from CFA
Mr Trevathan explained that there was an unfortunate situation in Italy, which they had not been able to resolve. There had been correspondence in December 2011 when CFA had written to Mrs Sjödin, the President of FIFe but had not received a reply. A meeting had been scheduled in Italy between the FIFe member and themselves but the FIFe participants had not shown up. At a CFA show in February police had arrived and had wanted to shut down the show. They had been shown the paperwork, which was in order, and there was no fine to the club. CFA could not operate under these conditions. ANFI, the FIFe member in Italy, was running a monopoly and was not willing to have open doors. He hoped this could be sorted out in this forum. If this attempt failed, CFA were prepared to seek a legal solution through the courts. He felt that the WCC’s mission was to promote harmony. He was also aware that FIFe was an umbrella organisation but he quoted one of the FIFe Statutes, which stated that members should refrain from damaging FIFe’s reputation.
Mr Möbius said that WCF had six clubs in Italy. One club had an arrangement but police and various ministries had been sent to all other clubs for investigations. They had been fined Euro 20,000, which had eventually been reduced to Euro 5000 with the suggestion that their shows were illegal. Regarding registrations, ANFI did not recognize anything that was not registered by itself, not even from other FIFe clubs. They maintained that only ANFI registered cats were pedigree and therefore shows for pedigree cats were not legal if non- ANFI cats were being shown. An example of how the cats were treated was that a Persian cat may not be called ‘Persian” if it was not registered with ANFI.
Mrs Sjödin said that she had not responded to CFA because she was still waiting for a response from ANFI. The FIFe board knew about this situation and was addressing it but they were unable to force ANFI to accept other bodies.
Mr Reijers said that Mr Hamza, the CFA President, had wanted to meet with him to discuss ANFI but he felt this was impossible since the first approach had to be addressed to the club concerned.
He went on to say that it was a similar situation to the one that had pertained in France with LOOF but this had now been resolved, as the French law had said that cats did not have to be registered in LOOF. The FIFe board was not able to intervene in a national matter but he understood that ANFI’s objections were based on the registrations.
Mrs Sjödin said that the FIFe board could only raise the question as it pertained to other FIFe members.
Mr Reijers felt that the FIFe board could not do CFA’s work for them. It was a fact that an EU country could not have a “monopoly” The next show was to be held in the neighbourhood of Venice. Whilst he agreed with CFA personally, he was unable to do anything officially.
Mrs Sjödin predicted that something might happen because of registrations. FIFe, however, would not have accepted an ‘Open Door’ policy unless it had been on a voluntary basis.
Mr Trevathan said that after the show there had been threats to the show manager and her family. Mr Reijers pointed out that the police could not levy fines unless the law allowed it.
Mrs Fisher thought that if ANFI were applying legislation, then it could also apply to FIFe pedigrees. Mr Reijers explained that ANFI had not refused pedigrees from other FIFe members, but had insisted that such cats go through a control class. They had Ministry approval as a registry. This situation also existed in Portugal. He found such situations very difficult and wished people would use their brains rather than their emotions. He pointed out the impossibility of a country having legislation beyond its own borders. Mrs Sjödin added that the FIFe board was trying to solve the situation internally.
Mr Reijers suggested that an official letter be sent by CFA setting out something concrete, the board could then do something. The laws that were quoted were intended for farm animals not domestic pets. Mr Möbius expressed the opinion that FIFe would do nothing as it suited them to have ANFI forcing out all competition in Italy. They had a different attitude in Germany. Mr Reijers responded that FIFe members also had problems with WCF.
Mr van Rooyen said that in 2008 and 2009 SACC had raised its issues with WCF at WCC level. They had been told it was internal and that they would have to sort it out themselves. He, therefore, did not understand why such discussion should now be allowed. It was up to FIFe to discuss with their Italian member in this regard and they needed to provide evidence before action could be taken.
Mr Reijers pointed out that the WCC was not part of the FIFe Constitution and FIFe could not stand above its own Constitution. It could not take action against the wishes of its members. Mrs Sjödin added that the FIFe board cannot force its members.
Mr Reijers thought that there were no apparent problems with GCCF or the Australian registries.
Mr Trevathsn suggested a central registry in Europe. And Mr Reijers replied that that would finish all the organisations. He said that FIFe was not a registry. He added that there were rules in the EU for non-profit making organisations. Each organisation had different structures and ways of doing things although the breeds were now more or less the same. Mr Trevathan asked if there was any way of pushing ANFI and Mrs Sjödin replied that although they might meet, they could not pressurize them on open doors policy. She asked if it was known who had sent the police and was told that ANFI had sent a complaint, which the police had acted upon.
There was discussion about the problems that judges sometimes had in obtaining visas for Russia. It was important to get an invitation in English. There had been a complaint sent by somebody in Russia against WCF. Mr Möbius said that when he was going to the WCF world show in St. Petersburg he had been questioned for three hours. He had a business visa but some judges had been arrested and held; it had been suggested that expenses were really a salary.
Referring to a document in Italian, which had been handed to him, Mr Reijers explained that the laws, which had been quoted, referred to a European Directive asking all countries to deal with a central registry for farm animals. It was suggested that ANFI had come forward and it might be that other registries were approached. He stressed that it was necessary to follow the correct procedures in order to get results. Mr Möbius was aware that it would be necessary to go to court but this was in no way against WCC. To which Mr Reijers responded that it would not affect either FIFe or the WCC and he understood that WCF had a sort of back-door deal with ANFI. Mrs Sjödin pointed out that a cat could be registered in any country and Mr Trevathan said they had been told to register with the Ministry. Mr Reijers referred again to LOOF and those difficulties and thought they needed to know in what form the complaint had been brought to the police.
Mr Crow asked what the role of WCC was with regard to advising its members and the President replied that it did not have an advisory role; it was up to each member to find out for itself. The WCC did not interfere.
Mr Trevathan said that CFA had previously had a division which covered Europe but this was now a new Region 9. Mr Reijers had a problem with the fact that the whole of Europe could be referred to as a region when there were such vast cultural differences. Mrs Fisher explained that TICA has Europe divided into North, South and West. The WCF had regions for the purposes of winners and divisions were made if there were a number of clubs. CFA has a regional director. Mr Reijers explained that ANFI sees things in terms of the country where the cat was born.
The President said that during the break he had had a discussion with Mr Trevathan about respecting show dates of other registries. He did not remember the exact date but back in the 90s it had been agreed that WCC members would respect each other’s show dates. It had then been easier with only five members and of course it could be agreed at this level but if the member clubs did not agree, it was not possible to force them to do so. CFA had a schedule and it is up to the Regional Director to look at this and check for any conflicts. Mr Reijers said that the FIFe show list was always on the FIFe web site. Mrs Hackmann agreed that they divided their shows between the Russian clubs and the others and it was easy to control the dates. Before leaving this point, Mr Reijers repeated that if CFA wanted anything to be done, it must make an official approach.
Mrs Sjödin said this had brought them to the next point for discussion, which had been put on the Agenda by FIFe, and that was respecting the integrity of individual organisations within the WCC. The FIFe Statutes and Rules state that the ‘open doors’ policy is voluntary. The board could not tell its members to accept cats from other organisations at their shows or to allow their members to show with other organisations; it is up to the individual member to make that decision. There was nothing that the FIFe board could do about it. She thought that this point had in fact been dealt with during the previous discussion.
Mr Reijers said that he would like to know from the other members if they actually had anything about ‘open doors’ in their rules. FIFe had the possibility spelled out in its Rules. For this reason he was a little upset when FIFe was accused of not respecting ‘open doors.’ Mr Trevathan replied that CFA was open anyway and had no limitations on its members who were free to register or show their cats in any other organisation.
Mr Reijers then asked what he would have to do in order to show his cat to become a champion in CFA. Mr Trevathan said that one simply entered the cat at the lowest level in the normal way. Mr Reijers then asked if after receiving the required number of certificates the cat became a champion without being registered with CFA. He was told no, the cat had to be registered with CFA. Mr Reijers then explained that this was the difference between FIFe and CFA; CFA was a registry, FIFe was a member based organisation and to register a cat within FIFe a person had to be a member of a FIFe member. These were two completely different systems. TICA, as he understood it, had membership and it was also a registry. A cat could be shown once without being registered, but after that it had to be registered with TICA. In FIFe a kitten could be shown a number of times without being registered and as an adult it could be shown three times but in order to claim a title, it had to be registered with a FIFe club. A championship title was a FIFe title and could only be bestowed on a cat belonging to a FIFe member’s member.
Mr Trevathan responded by referring to the CFA novice class which was there for an unregistered cat or a cat, which perhaps has a colour, which was not acceptable to the organisation and could therefore not be registered, but nevertheless the owners would like to show it. If such a cat obtained six winner’s ribbons and was then registered, it would become a CFA champion. The novice classes could only be entered once; a cat having achieved six ribbons could not go further. Mr Reijers explained that these were individual organization’s matters, in FIFe the novice class was for cats of no known parentage and it needed to establish whether it was a breed or not. He thought, however, that in both organisations, titles were bestowed only on the member’s cats. It would be very strange if a cat that belonged, say, to a WCF member and was registered with WCF, were to become a FIFe Junior Winner. It would not be possible because all title validations were checked.
The Secretary interposed with regard to Mr Trevathan’s question concerning respecting show dates. She referred to the WCC By-Laws and quoted Rule 4, which stated that members must respect the show dates of other member organisations, it had been in the Rules for a very long time.
There had been an instance in Denmark when a CFA show had been organized on exactly the same date and in the same place as a FIFe show, which was unacceptable. In the United Kingdom the GCCF and the FIFe clubs worked together to avoid each other’s dates, this being in their own interests.
Mr van Rooyen said that this subject came up every year and he thought it had gone too far. A control should be made so that this subject was not brought back again. He spoke of the fact that certain clubs had specific dates every year which everybody knew and that such dates should be respected. CFA also respects specific dates but to qualify for that a club must have had the show two years in a row, if they were unable to hold a show on that date in one year they would not lose that date but if they missed it for two years, then that date would be gone.
a) Election of a Vice-President for a period of two years
Mr Trevathan nominated Mrs U’Ren for this function, seconded by Mrs Sjödin and carried unanimously with the exception of Mrs Morgan Blythe for ACF who abstained. Mrs U’Ren thanked the delegates.
b) Appointment of a Secretary/Treasurer for two years
The President observed that it was a strange position since there were no other candidates and to vote against this appointment would mean that WCC had no secretary. Mrs Bydlinski then asked for the floor. She explained that whilst she was prepared to continue for another two years, she felt this had to be the final term for her as she would then be seventy-six and thought that was time to stop. She urged the delegates to start thinking about who would take over. The President pointed out that she had said this before and Mrs Bydlinski agreed, saying that whilst she had meant it then, she had not been willing to walk out and leave them with no secretary, which was why she was making the point that they should start thinking of a successor. The President understood and pointed out that if the Secretary did walk out, there would be no WCC. All the members were there on a voluntary basis and he knew the secretary often had difficulties in getting responses from the members, including himself. The WCC had no powers as such and the members needed to be aware that whilst WCC could present itself to the world, it could not enforce anything. He then confirmed the appointment of Mrs Bydlinski and jokingly added “for the next twenty-five years” to the amusement of the delegates.
The President gave the floor to Mrs Bydlinski as the Treasurer. Her report had been circulated (Annex 1) and she added that the bank balance at the end of April had been AU$ 62,562, which was approximately Euro 48,800, US$ 64,605 and £39,800. This was after Leslie Lyons flight had been paid. The costs of this meeting and the travel expenses of Tim Gruffyd Jones were still to come out of that but the financial situation was healthy. She added that there were also the annual fees of two members which she had agreed to accept in cash at the present meeting so a further AU$ 680 needed to be added in to that total.
Mr van Rooyen asked about the expenses of Leslie Lyons and the Treasurer explained that WCC was sometimes asked to pay the travel costs of the speakers; there was no other fee in this instance. Ms Lyons’ travel costs had also been shared with FAB in the UK as she had lectured there the week previously. The President also explained that the open meeting was not always in the form of a seminar. Sometimes there was an official benefit to the judges who attended the seminar; he confirmed with Mr van Rooyen that this had been the case in South Africa. Unfortunately any lecturers that would have been available in the Czech Republic would not have been able to lecture in English, so it was necessary to get people from the United States or the United Kingdom.
The Treasurer then asked for the meeting to set the annual membership fee. It was currently at AU$ 340.00, which was about Euro 270.00 and approximately £240.00. Mr van Rooyen proposed that it remain the same, seconded by Mrs U’Ren and agreed unanimously.
Mrs Sjödin asked how long the agreement with Royal Canin would be in force. The Treasurer said it had been for five years and she thought, but should have checked it, that it had two years to run as it had been agreed at the Arnhem meeting in 2009 and commenced the following year. There was no way of knowing whether Royal Canin would wish to continue with this sponsorship. The President pointed out that in the past, when there had been no sponsorship, it had been necessary for each member to make its own arrangements concerning hosting the annual meeting but it had then been a smaller group. The Treasurer added that with nine members, there would not be much money available to get speakers or contribute to the annual meeting. Some of the host members had been able to get sponsorship as had CCCA in 2010 but usually WCC does contribute something towards it. Mrs Sjödin understood that this sponsorship was for the purpose of the annual meeting and the Treasurer agreed although she could not remember the exact wording but she knew that the open meeting was to be officially sponsored by Royal Canin who had a partnership agreement with the WCC. There could be no other sponsors at that meeting. It was, of course possible to have other sponsors for the show. Royal Canin had sometimes sent their own veterinarians to speak at the meeting at their own expense. However, since the sponsorship was so good it was not possible to ask them for any more money for this purpose. The President said that at the show in Brno there had been a very good sponsorship package offered by Hills but the club had reluctantly declined this in favour of Royal Canin as it was felt that the whole event should reflect Royal Canin who had given such support to the WCC.
The meeting had also to decide on a figure which each member would be deemed to pay in travel expenses for their delegate. This was currently Euro 500.00. The Treasurer explained how this worked and said WCC was able to reimburse some travel expenses of the delegates because of the Royal Canin sponsorship. The President added that any remuneration toward travel expenses which a delegate received from judging at the host’s show would be added to that amount. Equally, if the delegate had judged either at the weekend before or after the WCC on the same Continent, any travel compensation he or she had received would also be taken into account. Mrs Morgan Blythe moved that the figure remain at Euro 500 and this was seconded by Mrs Sjödin. As there was still some confusion about how this worked, the President explained the basics again. He also explained that the reasoning behind the FIFe proposal had been the fact that those members coming to Europe from Australia, New Zealand the United States and South Africa had much higher travel costs than those in Europe and at that time most of the meetings were hosted in Europe. This was intended to make the travel costs the same for each member. Therefore a basic figure was decided upon with any reimbursements from the host club to be taken into account and the remaining amount was then paid to the member by the WCC.
Mr van Rooyen asked to make a counter proposal. He would like to propose that as the WCC did have money in the bank the basic figure should be reduced to Euro 400.00. He added that this could be changed again in another year. The Treasurer agreed that this sum was to be determined every year. Mr van der Haterd said that he had concerns about Royal Canin’s attitude when they saw how much money WCC had in its account. Mrs Fisher was thinking along the same lines and felt that WCC could afford to absorb Euro 100 per member. Mrs Sjödin remarked that the GCCF delegate had asked about the large sum in the account the previous year, also thinking that Royal Canin might consider WCC did not need sponsorship.
Mrs Morgan Blythe accepted the amendment and withdrew the proposal. Mr van Rooyen proposed that the figure be Euro 400.00 and this was seconded by Mrs Fisher. The result of the vote was unanimously in favour.
The Treasurer asked if this sum had to be for the next year or could it be made effective immediately. Mrs Fisher moved that it be immediately effective and Mrs Morgan Blythe seconded it. Accepted unanimously.
The President did not think that Royal Canin were concerned about the WCC’s bank balance. He thought that as an international company, they had other things to think about.
The next item for the meeting to decide was the amount of the compensation towards the travel costs of a judge officiating at the show in conjunction with the WCC weekend.
At this point the President raised the matter of using different currencies for the different fees. Mrs Sjödin thought it better if only one currency was used and said everything should be in Australian dollars. After some discussion the President asked if there was any objection to the agreed sum for the members to pay for their travel expenses being put into Australian dollars. It would be AU$ 500.00. There were no objections.
There was some discussion about the fact that a show organizer had to be willing to pay this amount to a judge/delegate. Using a delegate as a judge was a voluntary matter and not all shows could afford to do this. The President also pointed out that this had been one of the reasons for the FIFe proposal as not all show organizers would be able to use the judge/delegates and give them some reimbursement. This proposal had guaranteed a reimbursement to all members.
The motion on the table was that the amount to be paid by the club to any delegate who also functions as a judge at the show in conjunction with the WCC annual meeting shall be AU$ 500.00. This was proposed by Mrs Morgan Blythe, seconded by Mrs U’Ren and accepted unanimously.
The Secretary raised the matter of the breed comparisons on the web site. Some members had been very good in responding but some had not and she was still waiting. She felt that it was high time that the project was finished. Thirty-four breeds had gone up on the site, but there were a further sixty or so to go. She appealed to the members to get the project finished by the end of the current year.
Mr Trevathan did not know about this project and the President explained that these things were always minuted and the Minutes were on the WCC web site. This project had been accepted two years before but was taking longer than anticipated. The Secretary explained that she could get a certain amount of information from the members’ web sites, but there were certain things she could not know and she also needed photographs, such things had to come from the members. Many people had said that they appreciated having this information on the web site and it seemed a worthwhile project. It has also been said that it would be nice to have the standards linked also. She had spoken to the web master and of course it could be done but it would be time consuming. That would be up to the members if they wished to have that added as it would involve additional costs. She asked for the opinion of the delegates. Answering the comment that all the standards were available on the individual web sites, she agreed but pointed out that the idea which had been put up in Melbourne was that all the information would be in one place so that the individual did not need to search the internet. Mrs Morgan Blythe asked what sort of costs were involved but the Secretary had not yet got that information. The President said that the web site costs were not high and the Secretary did not think the costs would be an issue. Mrs Fisher moved that this should be done, seconded by Mrs Morgan Blythe and agreed unanimously.
The President passed the chair to the Vice-President as he had to check out of his room in due time.
Matters arising from Member’s Reports
The Vice-President understood these had all been circulated. WCF had not submitted a report and Mrs Hackmann said that they had just had their General Assembly. They had recognized ‘Traditional Longhairs’ in all colours, with the proviso that they may not be mixed into the gene pool of the silver and goldens which had previously been recognized. The secretary asked what was meant by a ‘Traditonal Longhair’ and was told it was a sort of old fashioned faced Persian. Mr Möbius and Mrs Hackmann agreed with Mr van Rooyen that the Traditional Longhair is not the same breed as the Chinchilla Longhair in SACC. They had also recognized silver and tabby patterns in Burmese. They had further recognized the ‘Aphrodite Giant’ from Cyprus, this breed had been named by Leslie Lyons as having a unique genetic fingerprint in the Mediterranean and which could be developed, she had not known that the WCF breeders had been working on the breed since 2006. They had also recognized the “Deutsch Langhaar” which was a breed which had been named in the 1930s as being a Central European longhaired breed. They differed from the ‘Traditional Longhair” and it was thought they had originated in a longhaired household cat. They were quite long in the body and the standard was based on colours. The head shape was quite different to that of the ‘Traditional Longhair’ and in general they were more similar to the semi-longhaired breeds such as Norwegian Forest. The breeders, however, wanted them in the Longhair section. They had also had recognition of the ‘Arabian Mau’ which was a well known street cat in all Arab countries. All breeds were recognized for Championship status and the Secretary remarked that this meant another five breeds to be added to her list.
The President asked if any of the members recognized the Sterling but was told not. He also mentioned the Pewter, which is recognized by the GCCF in the UK, which is a shaded silver cat with orange eyes.
Referring to the recently circulated report from FIFe, Mr Reijers said that at the forthcoming GA there was a proposal to limit the attendance of non-FIFe judges on FIFe shows and the participation of FIFe judges at non-FIFe shows; this would only apply where there was a FIFe member in the country concerned. He thought this would lead to a lively discussion. Previously FIFe had no limits but the French member, who had brought the proposal, was a little upset that some of their judges were judging more at the LOOF shows than at the FIFe shows and had thus brought a proposal.
Mrs Morgan Blythe said that ACF had its AGM in June and there was a proposal for recognition of Pixie Bobs and also of solid Ragdolls. Pixie Bobs were by definition polydactyl and this was of course in conflict with the general disqualifiers in ACF and also in FIFe. It would be interesting to see how this proposal would go.
Mr Crow said that the GCCF had now recognized the Nebelung.
The Secretary referred to the report from NZCF in which it had been mentioned that Chris Lowe, the NZCF Secretary had been preparing the regular Newsletters for the WCC web site. She wanted to thank Mrs Lowe for this and hoped she would continue to do it.
The President then adjourned the meeting for lunch and it would reconvene at 13.45.
After the meeting reconvened, Mrs Sjödin asked to return to financial matters and asked if there was an account in the name of WCC or if it was in the name of the Treasurer. She was not casting doubts on the Treasurer but was concerned if for instance there was a plane crash. The Treasurer replied that it was still in her name albeit in a separate account and if anything happened to her the executor, who was her sister, had instructions that the account did not belong to her. She had been aware from the beginning that this was unsatisfactory but there had been problems as WCC was not a legal entity and this had meant it was impossible to have a bank account in the name of the World Cat Congress. She knew it was a problem and welcomed any ideas. Now that she lived in Australia the matter of a second signatory was not so complicated. Mrs Sjödin thought the Executive should look into this and come with a solution the following year. Mrs Hackmann understood the problem as WCC was not an entity that was registered anywhere. Mr van Rooyen expressed concern as, should the Treasurer die, there would be a delay when WCC would not have access to the money. The Treasurer thought this would not be the case as her solicitor was also one of the executors and it could be dealt with quickly and the amount concerned represented only a small part of her estate.
Mr Crow asked if this was a specific problem in Australia as the local clubs in the UK had their own accounts. The Treasurer agreed, her club in the UK had been in the same position but the problem was that the WCC was not a club. Mrs U’Ren thought it should be possible as some of their clubs had their own accounts. There was discussion on how this could be done as the organisation of WCC was international. Mrs Fisher suggested the possibility of moving the money into a separate account of one of the member bodies, as she understood the fact that a body that was not a legal entity could not hold an account. In the event of something happening, the money would then be part of that entity as opposed to falling into the estate of an individual. It would of course be necessary to have a legal agreement with whichever body was involved. Mrs Fisher suggested that this should all be looked into and the Executive should report to the members. The Treasurer agreed to further investigate the possibility of opening an account for the WCC as an unincorporated body.
Matters raised at Open Meeting
1) To have worldwide co-operation and a policy to deal with the current problems in Burmese. This was raised in conjunction with Leslie Lyon’s remarks about Burmese.
2) That the WCC be proactive with respect to legislation being enacted that is thought to be detrimental to the interests of the cat fancy. It was suggested that each member body, or on a wider scale, each country, have a designated representative who will:
a) liaise with the government in their own country
b) keep watch on any proposals to legislate with respect to cats
c) report any such moves to the WCC for dissemination to the other members
The proposal was for WCC and its members to possibly interact in some way (officially or informally) with other stake holders, for example, the dog fancy, breed groups for pedigree farm animals, animal rights groups were also suggested.
3) That the WCC draw up a policy for breeding standards. That the minimum requirements re health screening etc. be agreed upon and acted upon by the WCC members. The members should also agree to accept each other’s validations with respect to screening etc., such documentation to be an attachment to a pedigree rather than part of the document itself. The importance of microchipping animals to validate identification and the independence of the person either taking the samples or carrying out the testing should be included in the overall recommendation.
To note and expand on Tim Gruffyd-Jones and Leslie Lyons statements with regard to the limitations of data obtained by genetic testing and the importance of clinical testing in some conditions and in the variable expression of some conditions in different individual animals. To possibly establish some guide lines as to the approach people should take when an animal tests positive for a specific condition. Such a guide would be required for each condition depending on the frequency and number involved.
The President took up the first point concerning Burmese He pointed out that there was a difference in the organisations as to whether contemporary or traditional Burmese were meant. He supposed that this was in regard to the head defect but the Secretary was not sure that Leslie Lyons had only meant the head defect, she was implying that there were other problems. Mr Möbius said that she had included all Burmese and Asians in her remarks. She was suggesting that there should be outcrossing to increase the diversity of the gene pool. Mr Reijers remarked that FIFe was now proposing to close the novice class for Burmese as the breeders did not want offspring from the tabby and silver cats to get into the accepted colours. Mr Möbius said that WCF had recently had to re-open the novice class generally to be in line with the gene diversity of the breeds, which was required by European Law. The President corrected this by pointing out that it was a Directive and not a Law and there was a vast difference between the two.
The President found it a difficult subject as in many organisations measures were in place, however he thought it better to allow for new blood and not close the door entirely. The Secretary remarked that under the FIFe system a breeder who wanted to make an outcross could go to the breed committee and get permission for such an outcross, which was not the same thing as taking a cat off the street, which happened to look like a Burmese. Steve Crow said that in GCCF the gene pool had been closed for over twenty years and he had made a proposal and established a definite principle in several breeds. They were also discussing the import ban now that there was a test for the ‘cranio-facial’ gene as well as a test for hypokalemia. Mr Möbius said that Leslie Lyons had based her remarks on American Burmese and she did not have information on the Burmese outside of the United States. She had said she would wish that we would make field tests to find out how far the European Burmese were affected by these defects. She suggested that breeders should be encouraged to test and report the results in order to see how high the percentage was. Ms Fisher suggested that Leslie Lyons should be asked what protocols should be adopted as Ms Lyons felt that in the United States if something was not done the breed would implode.
The President turned to the second point regarding legislation. Several organisations already had people who were involved with the legislators. The European group had been concentrating on farm animals but had now focused on cats. The US thought that this move was dangerous and needed to be checked out. Mrs U’Ren spoke about the Victorian State legislation in Australia that is very strict, she expects it will be taken up by other states in the country. They had difficulties in making the legislators understand that cats were not small dogs and not potentially dangerous. Health problems were being strictly controlled.
Mrs Fisher advised that ‘Euro group for Animals’ had been focusing on the welfare of farm animals but one year ago they had turned their attention to cats. Mrs Sjödin said that the FIFe representative was already involved and FIFe had rules in place. Mrs Fisher suggested that the WCC site could list and discuss tests, which are available and give advice on how to use them. Links to sites could be given.
Mrs U’Ren said that CCCA had a protocol, which was on their web site. Amongst other things all cats must be microchipped. She added that very heavy fines were imposed on anyone selling or dealing in cats with any inheritable defect.
Mrs Morgan Blythe thought that consideration should be given to the laboratories used for tests. Te President felt that the officiating veterinarian should supervise this and Mrs U’Ren then suggested that the protocol for swab taking and microchipping should be included on the WCC web site. The President pointed out that an expert was needed to advise what tests were available. It was suggested that all members submit their requirements with Mr Reijers pointing out that those of FIFe were on their web site. He advised the members of some of their rules and mention was made of a breeders “code of ethics.” It was suggested that tests for lethal syndromes should be compulsory. It was also suggested that an agreement should be put in place which would circumvent people moving from one organisation to another to avoid stricter rules.
It was acknowledged that the differences in the organisations were so great that it was impossible to take a general line. CFA was a registry only but they had the Winn Foundation to care for the health aspect. The President feared that if the cats had problems, CFA would, in the final analysis, be responsible. The GCCF’s main aim was the health and welfare of the cat. Mr Trevathan said it was not possible for CFA to take that stand. The WCF delegate pointed out that people don’t appreciate that the rules apply to all residents of a country. Professional breeders were living from their cats and trying to avoid expense. WCF cannot force, but it can persuade. FIFe can do things through its General Assembly. There was a problem of the mass production of kittens. For example, in France everything was sold on the streets. Whilst there are rules in place, the members cannot stop individuals moving from one organisation to another although they should inform the other members when an individual is expelled for serious matters such as abuse to animals or pedigree fraud. Mrs Fisher said that TICA and CFA have an agreement over such things providing the disciplinary procedure is acceptable; they also have this with GCCF.
The meeting adjourned for a fifteen minute coffee break at 3.15 p.m.
Following the break the President referred to the other points which had been raised at the Open Meeting. He said that Tim Gruffyd-Jones lecture had been based on the rules of FIFe and GCCF. The same points were brought up each year but not all members had health issues in place. Microchipping was not mandatory in all countries but of course the law required it if a cat moved from country to country and most members were encouraging it.
WCC Meeting 2013:
Mrs Marriot-Power told the meeting that the weekend was planned for the 17/18/19/20th May. An outing was planned for the Friday with a show on the Saturday. The Seminar would take place on the Sunday and the Business Meeting on the Monday. It would take place at an hotel near Cambridge and the Seminar would also be at the hotel. The show was the ‘Suffolk and Norfolk’ with the venue being at the Woodgreen Animal Shelter which was near Cambridge. The nearest airport to Cambridge was Stansted.
Mrs Morgan Blythe said that the proposed 2014 meeting would be in Sydney on the weekend of 7/8/9th June.
TICA was to host the 2015 meeting.
Any Other Business:
Mrs Morgan Blythe asked if all members understood the same thing under the ‘Open Doors’ policy. Mr Reijers replied that in 1996/97 FIFe it had agreed to allow members to go to non- FIFe shows. Each member club has its own rules and he explained about the classes. Some clubs have restrictions. She went on to say that ACF and CCCA were to meet shortly and she was sure they could resolve their problems re co-operation and recognition. Mrs U’Ren was in agreement..
Mr van Rooyen reported that SACC had held a referendum with its membership as to whether or not to remain in WCC. There had been a unanimous decision to remain. The President commented that it was good to hear that. Mr van Rooyen said that SACC may not always be able to send a delegate.
Mrs Morgan Blythe remarked that Mrs Hackmann had suggested a meeting every two years instead of every year but this had not been taken up.
The President had said that the subject of New Zealand should be considered under this heading and Mrs Morgan Blythe spoke of the tremendous devastation in the Christchurch region. They were still having tremors and Mrs U’Ren pointed out that they were a proud people and would not ask for help. Mrs U’Ren said that their income from shows had of course been badly affected. CCCA had sent them a donation of AU$5000. Mrs Sjödin commented that there had been a huge fire disaster in Australia the previous year and asked where a limit was to be drawn. Mrs Morgan Blythe said that he had voted against help being given to the Australian bush fire disaster but thought that this was a different situation as for well over a year there had been daily after shocks and quakes and the people and their cat were traumatized. The President said it was hard to understand how it affected the people. Mr Möbius thought that each case should be treated individually for the sake of the cats. Mrs U’Ren thought that they would be very grateful for any help. The individuals had lost heart and she thought the earthquakes had had a huge impact on the New Zealand cat fancy as a whole. The Secretary said that they had discussed this and felt that it would not be correct to send money. She suggested that the membership fee could be waived and the President thought that the fee for the current year could be reimbursed and the expenses of a delegate for the next meeting could be met by WCC. Mrs Fisher moved, seconded by Mrs Sjödin and agreed unanimously.
Mrs U’Ren was asked to try and find out any special needs that they had and it was possible WCC could help in the purchase and also waive the membership fee for the following year.
The Executive had had a meeting with the Mrs Rivière from Royal Canin regarding the proposed cat encyclopaedia. The concept of the book was to cover all breeds. Mrs Fisher suggested that only breeds recognized for championship should be included and that the problematic breeds should be left alone. The format would cover not only the breed and its origin and description but also care of cats and genetics. Royal Canin had a very able team of graphic designers and the layout would not be a problem. It was felt that the judges should first approve the photographs to be used. It was suggested that Charles Spijker, a FIFe judge could be asked to help with the information gathering. A glossary of terms would also be included. Mr Trevathan liked the idea of including generally recognized breeds and Mr Crow thought that the work could be shared amongst the members by division of the breeds. Mrs U’Ren suggested that a section on ‘genetics for dummies’ could be included and was told that a geneticist from the United States would be working on the book. The Secretary would liaise with the members after she had had further talks with Mrs Rivière. It was understood that Royal Canin would like information on the outline by July.
The secretary reported on a letter, which she had received from an individual in Australia, she had circulated the letter and her reply but the meeting felt that such matters should be handled by the national members and were not the business of the WCC.
Mrs U’Ren moved a vote of thanks to the President and the Czech Club for their hospitality over the weekend, congratulating them on both the show and the Seminar. This was enthusiastically endorsed.
The meeting closed at 4.45 p.m.
Mr Eric Reijers (President of WCC and in the chair)
Mrs Lesley Morgan Blythe (Delegate of ACF Inc.)
Mrs Cheryle U’Ren (Delegate of CCC of A)
Mr Wayne Trevathan (Delegate of CFA)
Ms Annette Sjōdin (Delegate of FIFe)
Mrs Helen Marriott (Power Delegate of GCCF)
Mrs Chris Lowe (Delegate of NZCF)
Mr Jan van Rooyen (Delegate of SACC)
Mrs Vickie Fisher (Delegate of TICA)
Mrs Anneliese Hackmannr (Delegate of WCF)