N.W.T.F. Written Submission to Scottish Rural Affairs Committee (part 2):
1.5. WORKING TERRIER CLUBS.
1.5.1. N.W.T.F. Member Terrier Clubs vary in size from small local terrier clubs, to larger national organisations such as the Fell and Moorland Working Terrier Club (F.M.W.T.C.) and the Jack Russell Terrier Club of Great Britain (J.R.T.C.G.B.).
1.5.2. These clubs not only provide strict codes of conduct for the use of terriers, but also provide a social focus for people with a common interest. Most hold regular meetings, social events and working terrier shows. For example, during 1999 the F.M.W.T.C. held 32 terrier shows and 111 meetings and social events.
1.5.3. Many clubs also provide specialist rescue services, which are often called upon by owners of pet terriers whose dogs have become lost below ground (see Appendix II), as well as a rehoming or placement service.
1.6. WORKING TERRIER SHOWS
16.1. Each year there are many hundreds of Working Terrier Shows held throughout Britain. These take place during the late Spring, Summer and early Autumn. At these events, terriers are judged on their overall conformation, size, coat, condition and general temperament (etc.). Considerable thought and skill are devoted to the breeding of these terriers and the preservation and maintenance of particular strains and bloodlines. A number of the breeds of terriers now registered with the Kennel Club and shown at Crufts owe their origins to those very same strains (or types) which are still maintained by working terrier enthusiasts today.
16.2. Whilst most working terrier shows are organised by terrier clubs and terrier enthusiasts, they also serve to attract and entertain the general public. These shows are either stand alone events in their own right, or form a focal attraction at much larger shows, such as game fairs, country fairs and other rural shows. Indeed a country fair, or show, without a terrier show would be the exception rather than the norm.
16.3. By their very nature, these events are almost exclusively held in rural, or semi rural locations, This helps to pravide local entertainment and income, it attracts visitors from outside of the area and helps to support and preserve local amenities.
16.4. By way of example, the J.R.T.C.G.B. held their 1999 National Show and Weekend at Gallowhill Farm, Kinross. This attracted terrier enthusiasts into the area, not just from acrass England, Scotland and Wales, but also from as far afield as Finland, Sweden, the U.S.A. and South Africa. These visitors stayed in local accommodation, supported local businesses and a local pipe band was hired to support the weekends festivities.
1.7. ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS.
1.7.1, Due to the individual nature of terrier work and the timescale available, it is impossible to survey and accurately ascertain the total expenditure each year associated with terrier work. It has therefore been necessary in some instances to estimate figures, where this has occurred it is reported and conservative estimates used.
1.7.2. The N.W.T.F. represents around 3,000 - 4,000 individual members. This is estimated to be 25% of those engaged in terrier work, which equates to a total of around 14,000 owners of working terriers (conservative estimate). A recent survey (December 1999) indicated that on average they spent between £1,200 and £1,800 per annum on such items as feed, equipment, veterinary services and products, attending shows etc. We took a median figure of £1,500. This suggests that the financial turnover associated with terrier work is of the order of £21 million annually.
1.7.3. It is estimated that around 60,000 foxes are culled annually with terriers (source: “Putting the Fox First” - Wildlife Network). The commercial rate, quoted by a medium sized pest control company, to deal with an urban fox started at £265 per capita. This covers an initial site survey, a second visit to bait and set a loan cage trap and a third visit to collect/dispose. Additional charges would be incurred in respect of any further visits.
1.7.4. This figure compares most favourably with recent estimated costs of the planned badger cull by M.A.F.F. of between £l,750 - £2,800 per badger (source: Teletext Factfile 7/8/2000, estimated cull of 12,500 - 20,000 badgers over 5 years at a cost of £7m per annum).
1.7.5. Terriermen normally make no charge for their services, given the £265 charged commercially, this implies the value of the free service they provide to the rural community in controlling foxes alone is something in the region of £16 million annually.
2. N.W.T.F. ACCREDITED MEMBERSHIP SCHEME.
2.1. AN INTRODUCTION TO THE N.W.T.F. ACCREDITED MEMBERSHIP SCHEME.
2.1.1. In 1997 the N.W.T.F. drew up and implemented a national identification card scheme, which incorporates a register of independent terriermen/pest controllers of ‘accredited’ status.
2.1.2. This scheme, known as the ‘N.W.T.F. Accredited Membership Scheme’ is only available through N.W.T.F. Member Clubs.
2.1.3. All applicants are pm-vetted at a local Club level for suitability before being recommended for acceptance and must be of good character, suitably experienced and properly insured.
2.2. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE N.W.T.F. ACCREDITED MEMBERSHIP SCHEME:
2.2.1. The primary aims and objectives of the N.W.T.F. Accredited Membership Scheme are to:
Show that those who own and work terriers, but who are not directly connected with registered hunts, are capable of self regulation without the necessity for government legislation.
Create a register of independent terriermenlpest controllers who are committed to working terriers in accordance with best practices and recognised codes of conduct.
lnstil confidence in the rural community to whom they provide a service, and to politicians, the media and the public, that such persons are easily identifiable, property insured and responsible individuals.
2.3. PROCEDURES FOR N.W.T.F. ACCREDITATfON:
The summarised procedures for the N.W.T.F. Accredited Membership Scheme are as follows:
23.1. Since 1st June 1997 all Member Clubs of the N.W.T.F. have had available two levels of membership. Their normal club membership and ‘N.W.T.F. Accredited Membership’, a new level of membership.
2.32 ‘N.W.T.F. Accredited Membership’ is only available through N.W.T.F. Member Clubs and it is to those clubs which all individual applications are addressed in the first instance.
2.3.3. All applications for ‘N.W.T.F. Accredited Membership’ are on an individual basis and via a standard N.W.T.F. form which is common to all Member Clubs (see below),
2.3.4. Each applicant must:
Have been a Standard Club Member for a minimum of two years.
Signify in writing their agreement to adhere to the N.W.T.F. Code of Conduct at all times.
Through their club join the Countryside Alliance group membership scheme which will provide them with £5m legal liability cover, £30,OOO accident disability cover and £15,OOO accidental death cover.
Supply three signed colour passport type photographs,
Through their club pay the annual registration fee.
2.3.5 Member Clubs are responsible for vetting each applicant for suitability at a local level and forwarding a recommendation for acceptance or rejection to the N.W.T.F. Executive for final consideration.
2.3.6. Recommendations for acceptance or rejection are made only by designated Member Club officials and must be based on a personal knowledge of the applicant concerned.
2.3.7. The N.W.T.F. issues each successful applicant with a laminated identification card which bears their name and photograph (see below).
23.8. Each individual ‘Accredited Membership’ is reviewed, and must be renewed, on an annual basis by re-applying. It may also be immediately withdrawn from any individual who is found to have broken the N.W.T.F. Code of Conduct or who it is felt may have brought terrierwork into disrepute.
2.3.9. The N.W.T.F. in conjunction with Member Clubs and other interested and responsible organisations maintains a register of unsuitable applicants.
2.3.10. Appeals against any matters relating to the above (i.e. acceptance, rejection or withdrawal of membership) will be dealt at the N.W.T.F. Annual General Meeting and be voted upon by those Member Clubs present.