SYNOPSIS OF VIRTUAL WHIPPET BREED COUNCIL MEETING
9TH AUGUST 2020
The Whippet Breed Council held a meeting on 9th August 2020. This was a ‘virtual’ meeting held on Google Meet and was the first of its kind for the Council. The Chairman and Officers were anxious that the meeting be successful and so asked the clubs to restrict their representatives to one camera per club. This meant each club retained their one vote, but if they chose to have others sit in with them, they could do so. Along with the Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary and 10 of the 11 member clubs, there were 13 cameras linked to the meeting. After a few minor teething troubles, the meeting began only 10 minutes later than scheduled.
Clubs were reminded to alter their websites to reflect the changes to the breed standard, excluding the colour Merle.
The Breed Council had considered offering an ‘Associate Membership’ to non-UK whippet Breed clubs throughout the world, so that they could keep in contact with any changes and to ensure a flow of information both ways. However, the Chairman proposed that she send out an email, containing both Web Site and Facebook information, so that those worldwide clubs who would like to continue to be informed of UK whippet issues had a link to do so. They would then also have access to synopsis after every meeting and this meant that information could still be disseminated and shared. The Chairman continues to maintain the idea that anyone who wishes to raise a concern with the Breed Council regarding whippets worldwide, should have the ability and confidence to do so. Naturally, any raised issues would be scrutinised by the Breed Clubs for any further action.
There was then some discussion regarding club Codes of Ethics and whether or not the Breed Council should have an independent established Code of Ethics. However, under its constitution as a consultative body the Breed Council does not have, nor does it require, its’ own Code of Ethics. The eleven Breed Clubs who are members of the Breed Council each have their own Codes and these have variances, with each Club deciding what consequences there are for members who break their Code of Ethics. Some clubs have removed membership, and some have refused entries in addition to this. Breed Clubs can of course report transgressions to The Kennel Club – as can any concerned individual. Caution was advised before sharing names or information on misdemeanours to other Clubs in order to prevent the targeting of individuals. When joining a Breed Club, new or existing members should be aware of the clubs’ Code of Ethics and the potential consequences of breaking them.
All clubs were asked to send a copy of their Codes of Ethics to the Secretary so that they were readily available, on request.
Social media via the Facebook and Web pages was proving to be a very successful way of disseminating information. Most recently, due to the Covid Crisis, there were reports that some breeders were vastly inflating the prices of their whippet puppies. With the coordination of the Breed Clubs, the Breed Council released a statement with advice and suggestions as guidance for potential puppy owners. There is also a proposal to further expand the guidance, for those members of the public who may not be a member of a breed club, on things to consider if they plan to breed from their bitch or use their dog at stud.
The Facebook photo competition set up, had received a fantastic number of hits and it was the public whose ‘likes’ had decided the winners. There were further suggestions to try to promote the Breed Council Website so that it would receive more traffic and reach a wider audience.
The Council’s Health Coordinator had sent an in-depth report regarding whippet data that was being submitted to the Kennel Club’s Breed Health Conservation Plan. There was a request for the Health coordinator to simplify some of the details regarding heart testing, so that it was all better understood. Once that information has been compiled, it will be set out onto the social media and web sites.
The Breed Education Coordinator (BEC) also sent in a full report regarding the Kennel Clubs ongoing Judges Competency Framework. The JCF is now rebranded as the Judges Education Program (JEP). Some changes have been made in all regards and if there is any confusion as to the requirements for any individual they may contact the BEC on her email – firstname.lastname@example.org
The Illustrated Breed Standard booklet has been reprinted and is available now. Contact Breed Club or Breed Council secretaries for a copy.
Naturally, because of the Covid crisis, the 2019 Whippet Of The Year had not been able to go ahead. However, there are plans to hold a joint 2019/2020 sometime throughout 2021 linking in with another championship show. Information will be released once it becomes available.
The Chairman finished by reminding the Breed Council that the position of Chairman was due for re-election in 2021 and that any names for the position must be both proposed and seconded by member clubs. Any proposed candidate did not need to be a committee member of any Breed Club and could be an independent person.
Business had been conducted in a successful and timely manner, with all representatives able to input the opinions of their committees. Everyone seemed to be in favour of the overall reduction of our Carbon Footprint and the ability to have a little extra time in bed, rather than a long drive in advance of the meeting.
The next meeting will be held on Sunday 22nd November at 10.00am. Once again this will be a virtual meeting, using Google Meet. Two representatives will be welcomed from each club.
The Breed Council remains committed to transparency of the meetings and feels confident that it can now allow a limited number of observers to attend the next meeting. This will be on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. During any confidential or sensitive discussions, observers may be asked to temporarily leave the meeting and re-join a little later, as indeed they would have done in a ‘Face to Face’ meeting. Observers must be members of a UK whippet Breed Club and should contact the secretary Mel Sampson or the Chairman Ann Beckett-Bradshaw in advance of the meeting.
Ann Beckett-Bradshaw (Chairman UK Whippet Breed Council)
Breed Council Meeting - Sunday 9th August 2020
This is forward notice that you will be receiving the Agenda on 28th June for the forthcoming Breed Council meeting on Sunday 9th August 2020 at 11:00am.
If you have items you want placed on the Agenda please let me know by Friday 26th June.
This will be held via video conferencing using Google Meet. It is simple and straightforward and your representative will be sent a link to come to the meeting.
The officers have had a trial run and this was successful. If anyone would like to have a trial run of using Google Meet prior to the meeting I am more than happy to arrange this at a mutually convenient time.
I have attached a guide to Google Meet but will send further information once you confirm the Email address of your representative. You will be asked to do this one week prior to the meeting.
If your representative is using a computer or laptop they will need to have a working camera and microphone. If your representative is using an iPad, tablet, iphone or android phone they will need to download and install the Google Meet app.
On this occasion Breed Clubs are asked to 'send' just the one representative. It will be the first time we have attempted a meeting like this and as there are eleven Breed Clubs, four Officers, Health Coordinator and Breed Education Coordinator, numbers are already at seventeen.
UK Whippet Breed Council Secretary
13th May 2020
STATEMENT REGARDING COVID-19 AND KENNEL CLUB EVENTS
The safety and security of competitors, spectators, volunteers and staff at Kennel Club events continues to be of paramount importance. In light of the continued restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kennel Club has taken the decision with regret to extend its strong recommendation that clubs and societies cancel forthcoming events until the end of September and that serious consideration should be given to events due to be held after this date.
It is vitally important that those responsible for organising events, large or small, conduct a risk assessment which will include ensuring that the event is Covid secure, i.e being compliant with Government advice and guidance on COVID-19. We will be working on further advice to clubs and societies on the issues which need to be addressed in a risk assessment once the Government publishes further guidance or instruction.
This latest recommendation is based on all advice issued by the Government so far which continues to restrict non-essential travel and maintain social distancing. The Kennel Club also recommends that alternative arrangements continue to be put in place regarding other activities such as meetings, seminars and training classes.
It is appreciated that clarity is important in order to be able to plan, budget and mitigate costs and therefore we will provide more definitive advice as soon as the position is clearer from the Government.
The latest advice on the situation regarding COVID-19 is regularly updated and changes daily and we strongly suggest that clubs and societies keep aware of updates as issued by the Department of Health at www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
The Kennel Club's current cancellation policy and FAQs, in relation to breed shows, can be accessed at bit.ly/2x5DuzQ and, in relation to all other disciplines, can be accessed at bit.ly/2AjuyZm.
Please contact the KC office on email to confirm the cancellation or postponement of any licensed events. If your event is cancelled, please also advise whether you require a refund for your licence fee or require the fee to be carried forward for a future event.
Thank you for your patience and understanding at this time.
Link to Covid-19 Announcement:
On 1st March 2020, just one week before Crufts, the Annual meeting of the Whippet Breed Council started on time, with only one club of the eleven unrepresented.
To Clarify the eleven clubs consist of the following:
The Whippet Club, South Yorkshire Whippet Club, National Whippet Association, South West Whippet Club, Northern Counties Whippet Club, Midland Whippet Club, North Eastern Whippet Society, East Anglian Whippet Club, Whippet Club of Scotland, Whippet Club of Wales, Northern Ireland Whippet Club
The Chairman Ann Beckett-Bradshaw presented the following report on the 2019 year to the attendees:
After the Merle issue had come to a successful conclusion in early 2019, the Breed Council continued to press the Kennel Club further, to disallow any merle registrations, either in the UK or from any other country. Another successful result was achieved, and the Breed Council can feel duly proud that they have done everything within their constitution to protect the purity and health of the breed.
Breed Council also continued to pursue the FCI’s unauthorised changes to the Breed Standard and Patronage, and here too, we were successful – in part. The FCI changed the standard back to the UK version but omitted some fundamentals and changed the understanding of a few others. We are still pursuing the issue via the Kennel Club Breed Standards committee. There is also another issue with a country who, (it is alleged) omitted the word ‘desirable’ from the height part from the standard translation. This is also being investigated by the Breed Council. Once again, the Council can be proud that, as guardians of the breed, we have pressed so hard to align the two organisations’ standards and, we have been very well encouraged and supported by other countries.
Health work has continued and is moving in a positive direction with Jo Whitehead doing a grand job collating all aspects of health screening, including hearts, auto immune and other issues.
Pam Marston Pollock, as our Breed education coordinator has been very involved, not just in whippet education but in the JCF themselves, helping to move their new processes forward as a significant member of the review panel. She has produced an excellent educational and descriptive Breed Standard document, along with illustrative photographs and her whippet breed video is available for all to see (free) on the Kennel Club Academy site.
In February, the Whippet themed lunch at the Kennel Club in Clarges Street was so successful, that diners were demanding another event before they had even left the building! So, another was arranged, this time as a Christmas lunch, and again, was very well subscribed with over 50 places. No other breed has had such an impressive turn-out.
WOTY seemed to have lost support from the whippet fraternity but a small team of enthusiasts got together and put on a revamped WOTY competition in April, after the Whippet Club Championship show. The event was a resounding success and now they have another scheduled for May this year. There will be 3 judges for the Adult & Puppy competition as before, and a 4th judge for the Veteran and Special beginners’ competition. A new and exciting change for this not to be missed event.
There is a whippet conference planned in 2022 – in Italy. Further details will follow in due course, but an information presentation is planned in the evening of the WOTY event.
There was a proposal for a Breed Council newsletter, which was beautifully produced by Helen Rishworth and was available at Manchester Championship show. There are still some copies left.
The Breed Council web pages and Facebook pages continue to be updated regularly, so everyone can see the latest information. Many thanks to Mark Smith.
For personal reasons, Breed Council secretary Russell Sykes, resigned shortly before the September meeting and Mel Sampson was appointed as interim secretary. The council was naturally very sad to lose Russell, and his passion for the breed, but we have a capable and competent replacement in Mel.
Finally, and sadly, earlier this year, Molly Head expressed her desire to retire as treasurer, so this will be her last meeting holding the purse strings. I’m sure you would like to join me in an expression of thanks for her support throughout the last 15 or so years.
A presentation of flowers was then made to Molly Head by the Chairman.
Led by the KC, the Breed Health Conservation Plan started collection of data. Around 1000 heart tests had taken place, and data has been collected on auto immune conditions.
The Breed Education Coordinator presented a report which explained that the JCF was in suspension until an independent review takes place. As well as being an Accredited Trainer, our Breed Education Coordinator was also invited to be a member of the JCF review panel. Details are passed onto Breed Council as they emerge. A breakdown was given of Breed Appreciation Days, Multiple Choice Exams and Mentoring. BEC thanked all Club Secretaries for their support and those who have been mentors as the feedback from mentees has been excellent.
The Breed council elected 2 new officers. Mel Sampson was elected as Secretary and Mark Smith as Treasurer.
This meeting was then closed and was immediately followed by the ordinary meeting.
There was discussion and reports regard communication with the KC allocation of prospective CC’ judging appointments. Breed Council will continue to notify the KC of any judges whom they consider lack sufficient breed specific knowledge for CC appointments.
Anomalies between the FCI breed standard and the UK version had been noted and the Chairman was continuing to pursue this with the KC.
The secretary had asked the Kennel Club for confirmation of their Current Criteria (Jan 20)
For judging whippets as a 1st Breed:
7 years experience
12 Stewarding Appointments
Passed points of the dog
Attended Confirmation & Movement seminar
Passed a breed specific assessment
Passed Rules of a Dog Show Judge
Judged 250 dogs
For judging whippets as 2nd & 3rd Breeds
5 years experience
Passed breed specific assessment
Judged 250 dogs
For judging whippets as a 4th Breed onwards
No breed specific assessment required.
The Whippet if The Year finals in 2020 also came under discussion as the event was going ahead again but with some welcome new changes that were reported.
There are to be two new competitions – Veteran and Special Beginners. Only two out of those eligible for the Special Beginners class have not entered. There is Dog Of The Year and Puppy Of The Year. So far the entries are over 110 dogs through the four competition ‘classes’. Please do donate or support the event if you can. There are adverts available in the catalogues which are pre-paid. There is a Facebook Page for WOTY and in the future there is hoped to be a website.
The Breed Council Newsletter was excellent and copies could be requested from the secretary. The newsletter also showcased the Breed Council’s beautiful new logo.
The date of the next meeting was set as Sunday 9th August at The Sports Connection. Ryton on Dunsmore.
Since this Breed Council meeting earlier this year, Covid-19 has altered many planned events for clubs, shows and societies throughout the UK, indeed throughout the world. For now, we must rely upon our Government guidance as to the way forward.
Wherever you are, stay safe, enjoy your whippets and hopefully we will be together again soon.
The next Breed Council AGM is scheduled to be held on 1st March 2020
It will be held at 11.00am on Sunday 1st March 2020 and the venue is :
The Sports Connexion, Leamington Rd, Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Coventry CV8 3FL.
In order for the meeting to go ahead the Constitution requires that there are two officers present and that two thirds of the Breed Clubs are represented.
We therefore need representation from 7 of the 11 Breed Clubs in order for the AGM to go ahead.
Please could you let me know whether your Breed Club will be represented at the AGM by 2nd February 2020
Proposed AGM Agenda
Minutes of the 2019 AGM
2019 Constitution as approved by The Kennel Club.
Nominations are welcomed for both the Treasurer's and Secretary's posts.
Nominees should be willing to stand for election and must be proposed by one Breed Club and seconded by another.
Nominations which should be in writing must be with the Interim Secretary no later than 02/02/20.