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Are there changes in the rules regarding the Novice Class?

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:17 pm
by Yunamari
I have been a member of WCF cat fanciers' club for more than ten years. Till very recently I have never seen a cat participating in the cat show that looks like one belonging to a breed but doesn't have a pedigree certificate. That is, I have never seen a cat being exhibited in the novice class.
Moreover, the rule for exhibiting a cat in the show class of domestic cat says that an adult cat in this class must be altered and it mustn't look belonging to any breed. In this way these rules curbed unlicensed breeding of phenotypes and unthoughtful breeding of domestic cats that are not needed and often find themselves thrown in boxes onto the streets...
I understand that in 1988 when WCF was established the genetic pools of many breeds were very narrow and the novice class was justified. But nowadays cats are overbred. Many animal rights groups try to legislate banning of pure-bred cat breeding. There is not enough rooms in shelters. In some countries the unwanted cats are eutanised. It is very sad. Many breeders find it difficult to sell the kittens that are not suitable for their breeding programs - despite the fact that these kittens are mostly well grown, vaccinated and altered. There are simply too many kittens for sale.
So what do I hear from a cat fanciers' club president regarding the novice class? She says that the rules have changed and now it is possible to bring a phenotype to a show to be seen by two or three judges from different countries and the judges will define whether the cat belongs to a breed or not. And I am not talking now about a native breed! No, the cats brought to the show looked like a sphynx, Scottish and Persian. When I asked who was in the national breed councils that approved bringing these phenotypes to the show (as it is still explained in the show rules on WCF official site) she had nothing to say.
I do hope that the president was somehow misinformed and this will never happen again. Please explain if I am right or wrong.

Re: Are there changes in the rules regarding the Novice Class?

Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:59 pm
by Aija Nuke
This answer here is published with permission from Dr. Johan H. Lamprecht, 2nd Vice-president WCF.

Yes, this is a rule that has always been part of the WCF show rules. It was removed once during a WCF GA meeting, but had to be re-instated due to the EU rules or legislation, stating that stud books may not be closed. This EU rule/legislation is to prevent the increased inbreeding taking place in domestic animals, especially dogs.

The novice class and novice registration is common in certain countries, where the importation of cats with pedigrees and registration papers are problematic for various reasons and also where certain breeds need to be preserved. These include the UAE, India, China, etc. In some cases there would not be shows without novice registrations.

For me, contrary to what the complainant claims, this is a very good feature of the WCF, which sets us aside from most of the other cat registries. I dispute the theory that having a novice registration process contributes to unwanted litters being bred. A registered animal rarely ends up in the street. The unregistered ones do.

My last comment – it is for the club to decide who their national breed council is. It may be an ad hoc council, only officiating at the show.

Please respect the fact that we are a world wide organisation that needs to respect the situation in different countries, regions and clubs. Do not legislate for only your own restricted experience in your small part of the world.

Re: Are there changes in the rules regarding the Novice Class?

Posted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 4:51 pm
by Yunamari
Well, this answer is better than no answer. But I will dare to dispute the opinion, even if this opinion is shared by a high authority.
The most outstanding contradiction here is mentioning high percentage of inbreeding in dogs. Why does this should concern WCF if it WCF doesn't deal with dogs - I have no idea and I don't see any logics in this statement.
Secondly, the statement that unregistered litters find themselves in the street and the registered don't... Well, unlicensed "breeder" tries to sell the kittens too. His/her kittens are cheaper, are sold early, not vaccinated, and not altered. Thus, anyone who buys a kitten from such "breeders" theoretically can come to a WCF show and have this kitten certified and then breed the cat that will grow from this kitten. In such a way WCF supports unlicensed breeders who:
Maybe mate a female two or three times a year (if they sell kittens at the age of month and a half or two months - it is quite possible);
Maybe don't care about breed standards and mate with other breeds that are not permitted outcrosses;
Maybe don't care about disqualifying features and breed cats carrying these features so the kittens inhere these features in inplicit manner. If these so called "breeders" don't care about vaccinating the kittens, I don't think it's worth discussing that they maybe do DNA tests for their cats. No, they surely don't care about DNA tests.
In such a way, WCF started to support cruelty towards cats and deterioration of the breeds.
I am shocked. For the time being I stopped being a member of a club which started to use these new rules. I became a member of another WCF club whose chairman told me he would never apply these rules and will not accept phenotypes without pedigree to the shows. But think how many people leave WCF clubs completely, don't just change a club. You want new members - OK, but should these new members be thoughtful and caring or should they care only how to buy a cheaper kitten aged two months and become a "breeder"? Excuse me for being so straight forwardly - but it is a shame.