Above: No extension: the NE will stay as a one-day show after exhibitors expressed their worries about additional costs involved with an overnight stay in Stafford. With the exception of The Lovebird (1990) Society, which had sent in a proxy vote, the Yorkshire British Bird & Hybrid Club and Border clubs, all other exhibiting clubs that form the NE management committee were present at the meeting on May 15. A vote of 12-3 was ‘overwhelming’, the Parrot Society concluded


THE NATIONAL COUNCIL for Aviculture’s (NCA) request to extend the National Exhibition (NE) to a two-day show has been rejected due to concerns over costs.

On May 15, the Parrot Society (PS) – the major stakeholder in the NE – presented the NCA’s application to exhibiting clubs and asked them to contribute to the way the show at Staffordshire County Showground is run.

But only three out of 15 clubs were in favour to make the exhibition section of the NE a two-day show.

PS secretary Les Rance said following a long debate, support was low for a two-day show. He explained: “The main reasons from exhibitors appears to be related to the costs associated with overnight stays in Stafford.

“A vote of 12-3 was quite overwhelming and so the event will stay as a one-day National.”

Additional concerns to the proposal included bird welfare issues.

Those in favour of a two-day event were the Fife Fancy Federation (FFF), the Canary Colour Breeders Association (CCBA) and the Old Varieties Canary Association (OVCA).

In November 2017, the PS received an application from Chris Smith, chairman of the NCA, to extend the NE, after secretaries of the FFF, CCBA and OVCA and several individuals had expressed their desire for a two-day National.

In Mr Smith’s application, he had summarised their suggestions as an outline timetable which, if agreed, would have seen judging of exhibition birds carried out on the Saturday. The best-in-show judging would have been completed Saturday evening, ready for the exhibition section to open to the public on Sunday.

Mr Smith told Cage & Aviary Birds that as the majority of participating clubs voted to retain the National as one day, he would respect their views.

He said: “I understand the additional cost to clubs and individuals would have been prohibitive.

“Personally, I think we are missing opportunities to enhance this premier show in the UK, but I would applaud the efforts of all the clubs in what they currently undertake in putting this show on.

“The PS deserves praise for its foresight in organising this event for the whole of the fancy; we are in their debt.”

This year’s NE will take place on October 7.

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