Minutes of the Business Meeting 9th April, 2018

Milan, Italy

Mr Eric Reijers (President of WCC and in the Chair)
Mrs Cheryle U’Ren (Vice-President of WCC and delegate of CCCA)
Mrs Sandi Gemmell (Delegate of ACF)
Mr Robbie Walker (Adviser to ACF)
Mr Mark Hannon (Delegate of CFA)
Ms Annette Sjødin (Delegate of FIFe)
Mr Dietmar Sagurski (Adviser to FIFe)
Mr John Hansson (Delegate of GCCF)
Mrs Jane Webster (Delegate of NZCF)
Mr Jan van Rooyen (Delegate of SACC)
Mrs Vickie Fisher (Delegate of TICA)

In attendance:
Mrs Pasquni Acessio (TICA, IT), Mrs Patricia Bunter (ACF, AU), Mrs Laura Burani Ferrari (ANFI, IT), Mrs Flavia Capra (ANFI, IT), Mr Francesco Cinque (FIFe, IT), Mrs Anneliese Hackmann (WCF, DE), Mr Leopold van de Haterd (FIFe, NL), Mr Steven Jones (FIFe, NO), Mr Johan Lamprecht (WCF, SA), Mrs Laureline Malineau (Royal Canin, FR), Mrs Donatella Mastrangelo (FIFe, IT), Mrs Lesley Morgan (ACF, AU), Mrs Teresito Omati (WCF, IT), Mrs Silvia Pampallona (WCF, IT), Mrs Julian Schuller (ACF, AU), Mr Bob Schwartz (webmaster WCC, IT), Mrs Lorraine Shelton (TICA, USA), Mr Josef Šmídovec (FIFe, CZ).

1. The President opened the meeting at 9.30 a.m.

2. The attending delegates were acknowledged as listed above and also the presence of the temporarily suspended member, WCF represented by Mrs Anneliese Hackmann and Mr Johan Lamprecht.

3. Approval of Agenda

There was one change to be made as Mrs Laureline Malineau had to leave earlier because of Air France strikes. The President suggested that Point 9 be therefore brought forward to after Point 7, (Elections) and this was agreed. There were no further changes to the Agenda.

4. Establishment of Breaks

Confirmed as being 10.30 am for the coffee break, 1 pm for the lunch break and, if required, a tea/coffee break at 2.30 pm.

5. Approval of the Minutes of the meeting in 2016

The Minutes of both the Business and the Executive Meeting needed to be approved. Mr Hansson pointed out a typo on page 5 and added that Mrs Betty Shingleton, the GCCF delegate from 2017 had seen and agreed the Minutes of both Meetings. The President commented that the Secretary made very detailed Minutes and had done the same when she had been FIFe General Secretary. Although they were very nice, they had to be translated into German and French within FIFe, so FIFe now had only ‘decision minutes’ unless a discussion was specifically asked to be minuted.

Mrs Laureline Malineau arrived at this point and the President informed her that her report had been brought forward on the Agenda, which was acceptable to her.

Returning to the Minutes, Mrs Sjødin asked whether it would not be appropriate to record what was going to happen with the current year’s minutes as the Secretary, Mrs Bydlinski wasn’t present. The President explained that Mr Walker oversaw the recording machine from Mrs Bydlinski and that would be returned to her, so she could write the Minutes. Mrs U’Ren moved to accept this procedure seconded by Mrs Jan van Rooyen and accepted.

The President pointed out a typo on the first page of the Executive Minutes, 1.2 should read “Budget for 2017” not 2016.

Mr Walker pointed out that on the attendees listed at the Business Meeting, the Mrs Jan Jewson referred to was actually Mrs Pat Bunter.

Mrs Gemmell moved to accept the corrected Business Meeting Minutes, seconded by Mrs Sjødin and accepted. Mrs Fisher explained she was abstaining, as she had not been present. This also applied to CFA, NZCF and GCCF. Acceptance of the corrected Executive Meeting Minutes was also moved and seconded by the same delegates and accepted.

The Minutes needed to be signed and as more than one of the 2017 delegates were not present; Mr Walker queried whether the current delegate could sign of his or her behalf. In Mrs Sjødin’s opinion, the Minutes were signed by the Member body and not the individual. It was agreed that the current delegates would sign on behalf of those of 2017.

6. Matters Arising from the Minutes of 24th April 2017

Mrs Sjødin referred to page 8 of the Minutes of the Business Meeting regarding the point brought by FIFe on the issue of a TICA pedigree in which the original breed of a cat had been changed. FIFe would like to raise the question again in the Executive Session. The President agreed, and it would be added as Point 2.4.

Mr Lamprecht asked if he could speak and the President explained that it was only the delegates at the table who could speak. He added, however, that the WCF delegates would be asked to come into the Executive Meeting at some point during discussions on the WCF matter. Mr Lamprecht asked if a further letter on that subject needed to be added to the Agenda and was told that it was not necessary.

7. Elections

a) Election of a Vice-President for a period of two years

CFA nominated Mrs Cheryle U’Ren, seconded by FIFe. There were no other candidates. Mrs Malineau agreed to count the votes, which resulted in Mrs U’Ren being re-elected for a further two years.

b) Election of a Secretary/Treasurer for a period of two years

FIFe proposed Mrs Penelope Bydlinski, seconded by TICA. There were no other candidates. Mrs Malineau counted the votes resulting in Mrs Bydlinski being re-elected for a further two years.

The President introduced Mr Bob Schwartz, who was the WCC’s Webmaster and responsible for the beautiful new web site. He was present at the meeting in order to take photographs of all the delegates, as the current photos being used really needed updating. He would also take the traditional group photograph.

Previous Point 9 on the Agenda – Report on Royal Canin by Mrs Laureline Malineau

Mrs Malineau expressed a big ‘thank you’ for the co-operation on the Encyclopaedia, which was a great success. It had been a huge work, especially for the Secretary, but also for her.

She then referred to two on-going things about which the Secretary had approached her. The first thing was the inclusion of a page on the WCC web site reflecting the partnership with RC. This could contain articles of information from Royal Canin. Mrs Malineau had some articles, which might be suitable and would look further into it.

The second item was to help on the lay-out for an information leaflet on WCC, which RC had already offered and were only waiting on the contents. Mr Walker said that the Secretary was still keen on doing it but had not had the time to work on it in the last year but would be looking at it in the near future.

Another subject that Mrs Malineau wanted to discuss was something she had also heard mentioned before, concerning the brachycephalic breeds. This was more prevalent in dogs than in cats, but it was a big challenge in the north of Europe and Scandinavia. She had been contacted by a veterinary association protesting against the use of photographs of Persians because, they maintained, they were not healthy. RC would like to go into this in more depth and engage in a dialogue on the breed. Mrs Sjødin commented that she knew a lot of the organisations working against Exotics and Persians in Northern Europe and also knew that they were not open to dialogue. SVERAK, which is the largest member in FIFe, had tried very hard and found they were not open at all. Mr Hansson said that GCCF had found a similar attitude. They used extreme cases of cats that exhibited serious problems and gave these as examples of brachycephalic breeds, but in fact these cats had simply not been looked after by their owners. They never showed photos of good examples. The President commented that at the FIFe GA Seminar in May, a Swedish veterinarian, who was herself a breeder of Persians, would be speaking about their healthy breeding. He suggested it might be a good idea to put her in contact with Mrs Malineau and Mrs Sjødin agreed to do so.

Mrs Malineau said that she knew there was a lot of awareness of the health aspects amongst Persian breeders and that they were working to achieve healthy cats, but unfortunately those healthy cats were not seen. The President thought that the Persian used by RC on their breed food was very beautiful and not at all extreme. He also thought that the main challenge with Persians was to keep them well groomed, the same challenge applied to British Longhair. He then remarked on the fact that the longevity of Persians exceeded quite a few other breeds that people believed to be very healthy, such as Maine Coons.

Mrs Malineau explained that they would like to invite some people, those who were open to talk and exchange ideas. The President commented on his own dog, that was brachycephalic and quite old but running around and happy despite that. He thought that the ultimate aim of those people was to ban all breeding. Mrs Malineau said that their object was to show all the positive things that were being done with certain breeds to ensure good health and also to promote those actions. They were currently working with some breeders, giving them access to some guides for good breeding. RC would like to get more in-depth information and work, if possible with more organisations to see if something could be done in this direction. All the positive things that were being done should be promoted.

Mr Hansson pointed out that it was very difficult, he referred to the ICC (formerly known as FAB) and said that whilst they should be promoting efforts for healthy breeding, they simply dismissed the breed as unhealthy and were not interested in assisting.

Mrs Malineau felt very strongly about promoting the knowledge of healthy breeding and making the public aware that it existed; otherwise some breeds would cease to exist. It was also important that breeding was being done by qualified and informed breeders. The President said how important it was for each organization to educate their breeders.

Mrs Malineau said that many people had been surprised to learn that when judging a cat, the judge also takes its health into consideration. She thought it important that people should be aware of that. Speaking of cats that were not happy at shows, people seemed to think that all cats were the same and hated being shown but the President pointed out that some people didn’t want to know that they had a cat that simply should not be shown because it hated the experience. As a judge, he would always favour a cat that was happy at a show over one that wasn’t, but that was an individual matter.

The President then suggested that if anyone had information that could be helpful in those matters raised by Mrs Malineau, they should send it to the Secretary to work on.

Mrs Malineau’s final point concerned twelve breeds that they had selected as being popular breeds, whose needs were different. They wanted to communicate these needs to the owners, but they realized they did not have sufficient knowledge. The twelve breeds were the Persian, Ragdoll, Maine Coon, British, Siamese, Norwegian Forest, Siberian, American Shorthair, Bengal, Birman, Sphynx and Burmese. Each breed had different requirements and the requirements also varied at different ages and stages of development. In order to gain this information, they would refer to various sources, but they would like to have four people from the WCC who would be willing to participate.

Mrs Malineau would be sending her PowerPoint presentation to the Secretary, who could look into possible contacts.

There were questions to Mrs Malineau regarding availability of the Cat Encyclopaedia and she agreed to look into this. There were several complimentary remarks about the quality of the Encyclopaedia and the fact that many people would be interested in obtaining a copy.

Previous Point 8 on the Agenda – Proposals

8.1 Proposals from the Executive
Before proceeding with the proposal, the President read out the Report of the Executive, which had been circulated, to the Members.
(attached to these Minutes as )

He then read out Proposal No.1 and asked if there were any speakers.
( attached to these Minutes))

Mrs Fisher asked for clarification on whether the vote was referring to the vote of the entire membership or only those in attendance at the meeting at the time. Mr Hannon then suggested that it be amended to read ‘75% majority of the Members present.’ Mrs Fisher would prefer it to be the whole body. Mrs Gemmel pointed out that it did mention ‘the member organisations.’ And Mrs Fisher was happy with that but in the event of some members not being present, it would be necessary to have a quorum and she had not found this stated in the Constitution. As to what a quorum would be, given there were nine members, a quorum would presumably be 6, otherwise 75% of the full membership would apply. Mr Hansson said that didn’t work very well with nine votes. However, there had never been an occasion when a Member had not been represented and it would therefore be difficult to stop a motion of which the majority approved. The President referred to a German expression which was something between ‘yes and no.’ He could see both sides but gave the example of FIFe, where a quorum was 50% of the Members and the voting was based on those present or represented. He thought that if there were a vote today with eight voting Members, it would be six votes, but normally with nine voting Members it would be seven. He added that as it was a 75% majority required for disciplinary action of a Member, it was reasonable that 75% would also be required for admission of new members.

There was further discussion on whether it was the vote of the total membership or only those present at the meeting and Mrs Webster pointed out that if a delegate had come for the meeting but was suddenly taken ill and unable to attend, the situation would change. The President read out Article 10.1 regarding Disciplinary Action, where the 75% vote was of the membership not the delegates present. Mr Hannon felt that the 75% should be clarified and the President suggested that the proposal be withdrawn and referred to the Secretary to bring at the next meeting with clarification and perhaps also some amendment to the existing Constitution. Mrs Webster thought it would be wise as circumstances could arise in the future where it might be difficult to get a proposal through. Mrs Gemmel suggested that a quorum should also be put into the Constitution and the President said he would speak to the Secretary to review the Constitution with those things in mind.

Proposal No. 2
( attached to these Minutes))

Having read it out the President enquired whether this should be treated in the same way as the first proposal and Mr Hansson thought that was necessary in order to be consistent.

The President felt it was a little unfortunate that no comments had been received prior to the meeting as the Agenda had been sent out in advance and the Executive had been asked, the previous year, to bring a proposal on this particular situation.

Mrs Sjødin pointed out that the only addition to the existing clause in the Constitution were the points “a and b)” as the rest of it was all there anyway. Both Mrs Webster and Mrs Gemmel could see no reason why this amendment could not be accepted as it stood. After a short discussion about bringing clarification to the terminology next year, CFA moved to accept the proposal, seconded by FIFe and accepted unanimously.

As the other proposals were to be dealt with in the Executive session and there was still time before the lunch break, it was decided to take the first item under Point 10.,/p>

10. Matters for Discussion.

This was brought by SACC
(attached to these Minutes as ).
Before giving the floor to Mr van Rooyen, the President referred to the term “hand-made” breeds that SACC had used and although he felt it was not for him to say, he thought that the Lykoi was a spontaneous mutation.

Mrs Webster also spoke of breeds such as the Maine Coon and the Scottish Folds, which were mentioned in the second part. These were also naturally occurring cats but there had certainly been human intervention over time.

Mr van Rooyen said that SACC had people contacting them to ask about a new breed and as it is on the web site of a WCC member, they are asking if the WCC supports these breeds. He wondered if WCC should have a statement on these types of breeds. The President asked if Mr van Rooyen was thinking along the lines of future ‘new’ breeds where the specific features of the breed were harmful to the health of the cat in question. The President thought that there might be something in the By-laws about the Bambino, which he remembered there had been a discussion on at some point. He didn’t think the Elf cat had ever been discussed. Mr van Rooyen felt there should be some statement as there were a number of new breeds emerging and people wanted to know about them. Mr Hannon pointed out that CFA and others were already registering the Lykoi and to issue such a statement would upset those breeders.

The President pointed out that a statement had been issued and was on the WCC web site, which stated WCC did not condone the presentation of wild cats at cat shows. However, whilst understanding Mr van Rooyen’s point, the WCC could not control what the organisations did. There would be different opinions on that matter. In FIFe there were rules on three breeds: Scottish Folds, Munchkins and the wild cats. His private opinion was that the organisations were there for the breeds and if those breeds were to be limited, would they be doing themselves any good. He was not offering a solution with such breeds but, for example, with the Munchkin there was no veterinary evidence that it was an unhealthy breed. There were breeders of Folds that claimed they were going the right way with supervised breeding. He could see both sides.

Mrs Webster suggested a statement along the lines of “WCC does not support the development of breeds based on mutational characteristics that have a negative effect on the health of the cat.” That would be a general statement that was not meant to take out breeds. Mr Hansson referred to the Lykoi, but Mrs Webster said she had no problems with that breed, as although it looked a little odd, it was healthy. She had problems with a breed that looked beautiful but was not healthy. Mr Hannon asked if the statement proposed by Mrs Webster was general and did not name breeds and this was confirmed. Mr Hansson said that GCCF had rules, which prohibited the recognition of several breeds. He went on to say that the only breed that was not on the list from SACC was the Manx and that was probably because it was an old breed that originated from a wild colony and was natural. They were now a protected species and were not allowed to be taken off the island. He thought it a difficult question but suggested that it was putting mutation to mutation, where people wanted to take it further that should be discouraged. The President gave an example of a naked cat with short legs and folded ears.

Mr Hansson went on to speak of the organisations policing themselves because if they didn’t, it would be done by somebody else. The President agreed and said that was certainly happening in Europe where some countries already had some of these breeds banned. Mrs Webster amended her suggested statement to read: “WCC does not support the development or recognition of breeds based on mutations with characteristics that have a negative effect on the health of the cat.” Mrs U’Ren commenting on the validity of Mr Hansson’s point about the policing of the organisations which, she explained, was exactly what had happened in one of the States of Australia, namely Victoria where they were being policed by the State but not as yet the Federal Government, and the registry would be in a lot of trouble if it went against the government regulations on most of those breeds that had been mentioned. She thought that if there were something at WCC level that showed concern about the health of the cat, this would be very useful.

There was mention of Professor Leslie Lyons’ report which had included brachycephalic heads with regard to Burmese and the President considered that whilst he appreciated the problem, as a judge he was obliged to follow the standard which called for a short blunt wedge and not a narrow long-nosed one. He thought the suggested statement was very good. He then mentioned that he had met the Lykoi in Miami where he had two of them to judge. They were purring on the table and their coat was very soft to touch, which was something many people didn’t realise. There were people who just reacted negatively from seeing a photo of those cats, but they had not touched the cats as he had, and he thought they were adorable. Mr Hansson thought this was the same reaction that some people had to Sphynx.

Mr van Rooyen felt that something should be mentioned about using the characteristic of the Fold in other breeds, but Mr Hannon thought that was covered in the statement. Mrs Gemmel told the meeting that ACF had spent a lot of time in developing breeding guidance in relation to the Scottish Fold and the Manx. They had used a lot of material from the GCCF in establishing some rules for the Manx. They would also be bringing rules regarding Scottish Folds to their next AGM as they considered there was benefit in giving guidance to improve or maintain the health and welfare of an existing breed.

Mrs Webster then proposed the following statement: “WCC does not support the new development of breeds based on mutations or characteristics that have a negative effect on the welfare of the cat.” The President thought that nobody could disagree with the statement. Mr Hansson thought it was a valuable statement to make. Mr van Rooyen seconded it and the proposal was unanimously accepted.

The meeting then broke for the break, which would be followed by the further break for the Executive Session.

When the Business Meeting re-convened the Agenda was continued.

10. Second matter: WCC Meetings 2021 onwards.

GCCF was already listed for 2021. Mr Hansson said that the venue had not yet been confirmed, but it would probably be late October, either the 23rd or the 30th but he would prefer to avoid the latter as it was the date of the FIFe World Show. He enquired when the FIFe General Assembly took place and having been told it was the end of May, he dismissed that as an alternative possible date. As there were three future dates already listed, further dates could be postponed to the next meeting.

As there was not a lot left on the Agenda, a short break was taken for the photographer to do the group photograph outside in good light.

11. Matters arising at Open Meeting

Regarding the Seminar, it was pointed out that there were differences in Seminars. Mr Reijers explained that in the current year FIFe had to make a choice as to whether it was an official Judge’s Seminar or just a WCC Seminar. In the latter case, only the delegates and a few others would be likely to attend. As it was a FIFe Seminar, there had been a good attendance. He realised that at some WCC meetings there had been a large turnout for the Seminar as in Australia and in Moscow some years before when, he added, all the delegates had given a presentation, and there were about 120 people present. The previous year’s Seminar in Las Vegas had been extremely good with a broad scale of very interesting subjects. Mr Hansson commented that the current Seminar had been interesting because it highlighted some breeds where there were big differences between organisations and geographic areas. The President expanded on that in saying Mr van Rooyen had spoken about a show poster with a photograph of a Russian which, he said, was not his idea of a Russian as it was too round and for him the head should have angular lines, also according to the FIFe standard, the ears should be open at the base, which in this instance they were not. Nor were the eyes large enough as well as being too round. He could see the beauty of the GCCF Russians but had a problem with those in Australia and New Zealand.

Mr Hannon suggested that as a subject matter for a seminar and it was felt it would be both interesting generally and also useful for judges. The President said that they had brought to FIFe the concerns of the WCC delegates about the way the Siamese was developing in certain areas, and this was not only the setting and size of the ears but, more importantly for him, the eyes. The work resulting from those discussions was going quite well as the judges and the pupil judges were beginning to understand the standard better. Mr Hansson thought that judge education was a massive subject because rightly or wrongly, exhibitors did follow the guidelines from the judges. It also depended upon which standard was being used. Mr Reijers related an experience he had when judging Siamese in Las Vegas, where he had a very beautiful cat with rather indifferent colour and another one, which was long in the body and, for him a little narrow in the head but had a beautiful magnolia body colour and clearly defined points and followed exactly what the CFA standard described. Although his heart was with the first one, he was judging by CFA standards and having read them beforehand, as he always did, he had to take the second cat.

Mrs Fisher suggested that the Winn Feline Foundation, which funded research, might also be a good topic for the seminar. There were some very interesting and exciting advances, especially in FIP and some other areas and it might be worthwhile getting someone from there. Mr Hannon said also the fact that the fancy was trying itself to deal with health issues and not, contrary to public perception, ignoring them. He asked if it would attract breeders to the seminar if the programme included something of special interest to them and it was thought it would do so. He thought that there should be something of interest to non-judges as well as judges as he had found the ‘round table’ component of the current seminar to be uninteresting to himself as he hadn’t been able to hear what was going on.

The President referred to some of the subjects that had been at previous seminars, and particularly mentioned the Miami Seminar where vaccinations had been explained and discussed; this had a great impact within his organization where many members were no longer having a ‘vetting-in’ for all cats but were doing spot checks only. Dr Pedersen had also been a great speaker at that seminar and he understood another organization was now trying to get him. Mr Walker confirmed that ACF was trying to get him for Perth. Mrs Fisher said he had been their guest at the Winn Symposium the previous year; he was a good and knowledgeable speaker.

12. WCC Meetings 2019 and 2020

2019 would be hosted by SACC in Cape Town over the last weekend in July when, the President reminded the meeting, it was wintertime. 2020 would be hosted by ACF in Perth on the Queen’s Birthday weekend between the 4th and 9th June, Surprise was expressed that Australia had a Queen, but the Australian and New Zealand delegates confirmed that they did. The President commented that Perth was less distance from Europe than Sydney or Melbourne had been.

13. Any Other Business

Mr Hansson wanted to say a big thank you to Mr Francesco Cinque and his team for a great weekend and this was endorsed by a hearty round of applause from all those present.

Mr Lamprecht asked if it was permissible to speak about the official decision of the Executive Committee with regard to WCF and was told they were free to do so.

14. Close of Meeting

The President thanked the delegates for their time and contribution and also said that Mrs Penny Bydlinski had been missed very much, he had found it weird to have a WCC meeting without Penny. He then closed the meeting at 16.30 pm.

Mr Eric Reijers:
Mrs Cheryle U’Ren:
Mrs Sandi Gemmel:
Mr Mark Hannon:
Mrs Annette Sjødin:
Mr John Hansson;
Mrs Jane Webster:
Mr Jan van Rooyen;
Mr Johan van Rooyen;
Mrs Vickie Fisher