Report of Meeting of Council held on Wednesday, 27th October 2010



It was quite a remarkable day in Council. For one thing we moved smoothly through the agenda and completed it with adequate time for the discussion items, in spite of a later start. For another, although there was debate and discussion, with different points of view being put forward, there was no animosity. Best of all where there were updates it was usually good news.


However, as is often the case there was a note of sadness at the outset. Judges, Jane Tackley and Ann Imlach, were remembered quietly by the many present who had known and respected them.




Once the minutes had been corrected and amended to the satisfaction of all it was on to the Treasurer's report. No attention grabbing headlines in this, but the slow and gradual recovery is continuing steadily. The price rises did their job so that there is now a greater cash surplus equating to approximately 3 months of business. The one area that caused some concern was the operation of the disciplinary system as expenditure continued to increase. Mr Bunce (Teasurer) floated the idea of a levy to support this which didn't win much enthusiasm from delegates, but to have rules in place with emphasis on welfare, enforced whenever possible, is a system with overall Council support.


The Treasurer touched on Supreme finances. With income in from entry fees and most stall holders and the hall paid for, he estimated the show seemed once again to be heading for a break even or very small profit. The Chairman responded to a query on costs for hosting the World Cat Club Congress giving an assurance that these were not expected to be drawn from GCCF funds.


Incorporation news


The Chairman's update on incorporation informed delegates that the process was almost complete. He anticipated it would be within the next working week. DEFRA had raised no objection to the name so the company would be the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy as had been wanted by the majority. As soon as possible paperwork would be sent out to clubs so that respective Chairmen could sign for membership. It would be important for future Council representation that this was done quickly and returned to the office.


Business review


In his business report Steve Crow remarked that once the link to the new company had been made most people would continue to enjoy their breeding and showing, noticing little change, but it was important to have the hobby underpinned by sound business structures that were subject to continuing review. He gave particular mention to the volunteers who had given their expertise to the IT and PR/media working groups. Thanks to their efforts the requirements for the computer refresh had been identified and plans could be made for the upgrade. GCCF had a new logo which gave it immediate identity and very positive steps had been taken towards gaining funds via sponsorship.


In particular the lottery that was being planned for the end of the centenary year had been completely funded. No costs would be incurred through printing and prizes were sponsored. Therefore all money raised would go directly to the IT upgrade. Delegates certainly appreciated that.


Mr Crow asked how many would be interested in a gala dinner in May if a package of meal and hotel stay could be arranged for about £60 per person. About half raised their hands which was considered a viable number to make further enquiries. It would take place in May, at a midland venue, possibly with a celebrity guest and/or auction to be a grand finale to the centenary celebrations.


Cat Welfare Trust


The Chairman, Keith Scruton, had exciting news of a new research project that the CWT charity would contribute to. Led by Bristol and Manchester Universities in UK, and UC Davis in USA, there was to be a study into the genetics of feline infectious disease, particularly FIP, and also further work into the genetic diversity of breeds. Comment was that it was excellent that results from that could contribute directly to breeding policies and breed support. It would also help with valid response to any media criticism should the spotlight turn on the breeding of pedigree cats.


Constitutional Change


There was a proposal approved which allowed GCCF to have 4 rather than 3 Vice-Presidents. An amendment to limit their term of office was not accepted. The now vacant place would be filled in June by election.


Rule change on kitten sales


At present, if kittens are not registered at the time of sale, a breeder is expected to provide a full pedigree with appropriate breed and registration numbers and a copy of the mating certificate. This is to make it possible for the new owner to register with GCCF. The rule has now been updated so that if a parent is not registered with GCCF, but another registry, the necessary paperwork to make GCCF registration viable should also be included.


Show rule changes and other show matters


It was clarified that a judge working in the pedigree section only may show in the HHP section. It has been customary for pedigree exhibitors to be HHP judges, but not previously defined that it was acceptable the opposite way round.


Another HHP change, to bring that category into line with the pedigree one, was to specify that titled HHPs may enter in any of 2 open classes (Open Grand, Imperial) for which they are eligible.


The proposal to establish a Supreme register for cats to enter the show who were not GCCF registered was not taken as there were no non-GCCF entries. However, the Chairman commented that it had been a useful exercise to see how it could be done in preparation for the 2013 WCC show which was also planned to be open to all.


From June 1st next year all shows held by GCCF affiliated clubs will be Championship ones. The categories of exemption and sanction were swept away (with the exception of shows held by agricultural societies). Clubs holding shows for the first time would be expected to have a fully qualified show manager.


It was proposed that the qualification should be gained via training at 3 shows, but there was a fair amount of discussion about making a distinction between breed and all breed shows, and scrutiny by EC of reports submitted by SMs on trainees. Therefore this was referred back to EC for further specification.


I suppose the biggest change that exhibitors will notice is that as well as having their Merit awarded or not, Assessment Class cats will be placed and the class winner will be eligible for Best of Breed and to go on for Best of Section and Best In Show if those awards are given. In response to a question the Chairman gave notice that this was the first change in the system for the recognition of new breeds.


All judge promotions to and withdrawals from lists were accepted as stated on the agenda.


The Oriental Bicolour and Persian Shaded and Tipped Cameo Standard of Points amendments were agreed without comment.


It was noted that the Bengal SOP in the newly published book did not include the most recent amendments. Change would be made when there was reprint, and as most of the current books had been sold this would probably be next year.

Discussion items


The class structure has been the subject of proposals several times previously with the Lincoln club's almost succeeding not so long ago. EC asked delegates to consider a Breed Class to replace the current Open. All cats of that breed would be eligible to enter this for the award of Best of Breed, but only pre-champions and pre-premiers would be judged for CCs and PCs. There was an opinion expressed that some exhibitors would be deterred from entering if there were not two options for titled cats, but most who spoke took the opposite view that this was something exhibitors had long been waiting for as it gave a level playing field to all.


The idea of a further title, the Olympian, for really high flying Imperial cats also found favour. There were suggestions that it could come in tiers of bronze, silver and gold or that the number of certificates should be unlimited. The intention of both being that cats should always have something to aim for at a show.


The proposed Best of Breed certification and titles encountered some opposition from show managers who feared it would mean a lot more work and expense for an all breed show. EC will obviously have to consider the logistics of this carefully in advance of an actual proposal. Some delegates expressed strong views against kittens being included in such an award, others thought the possibility of limiting it to 3 certificates for a Best of Breed kitten would be acceptable.


Mrs Shaftoe and the Cat Planet team were wished good luck with the launch of their new glossy magazine. Many looked forward to it carrying news of all types of shows and articles relating to pedigree cat showing and breeding in general. In discussion on whether there should be a closer working relationship between Cat Planet and GCCF it was thought the exploration for a deal should continue and eventual terms come back to Council for acceptance. Delegates wanted there to be some very positive benefits gained before any definite link was forged.


I think that's covered all topics and given a flavour of the October meeting. Information was given, ideas exchanged and new rules made in a business like manner.


Jen Lacey