The furore that has surrounded the GCCF decision to pull out of the contract with Our Cats has been unbelievable.
Whatever the rights or wrongs of the situation (and we are still not entirely sure what we have done to cause this rift), the GCCF could not have anticipated the wave of protests and anger that their announcement has caused.
Many people have asked us for more background on the situation. OUR CATS has nothing to hide.
To that end we have taken the unusual step of publishing the letter from the GCCF, which terminated the agreement, but failed to offer any real insight into the reasoning or logic of the decision.
It would appear from the comments from people up and down the country, that either the GCCF have acted with an incredible amount of foresight or they have taken a huge leap in the dark by moving to an unknown group of people, largely based in Siamese, and with no track record of publishing in the animal sector.
We can only assume that great research has been done by the Executive Committee into the new company and that they must have found something that they could offer, that OUR CATS could not match. Not that anyone ever asked us, either in a meeting (none took place) or at a show; where I can be found on a regular basis.
I can confirm to the many people who have asked, that I was not approached by any member of the Executive committee at any of the shows I have attended this year, with even a hint of a problem.
To receive such a letter out of the blue, with no acknowledgement of the last 24 years of service, and I choose the word deliberately, as no fee has ever been charged by OUR CATS to the GCCF for all the editorial insertions in the magazines during that period, was staggering.
It seems a shame that exhibitors may now suffer. Not everyone is an internet addict and we know many people still like to have their show reports in the printed form; a monthly magazine by definition cannot offer the same turnaround that OUR CATS has now perfected, even down to the recent success in blending email reports in with handwritten and faxed reports, back into one section. It appears the GCCF was unhappy that some reports were printed out of date order, but that’s what happens when judges send them in that way! It’s not rocket science!
We hope for the sake of all these exhibitors that the GCCF will insist that any new publisher continues the high level of accuracy and speed for the printed versions of the reports... not just on-line (which incidentally has always been on offer on www.ourcats.co.uk).
We have been asked by GCCF to correspond on this matter via their solicitor: we are complying with that request.
We have been asked by the GCCF to act in a professional manner: we will, and we always have done.
However, we are an independent publisher and feel that our readers have the right in this modern world to express their opinion, and we reproduce some of those opinions and letters elsewhere in this issue.
It is our view that the GCCF have seriously underestimated the strength of feeling from those who keep the fancy ticking over, the exhibitors; the hardy band who pay their fees week after week, show after show. At a time when many shows are concerned about falling entries, an ageing judging pool, competition from rival organisations, difficulties in filling committee positions at the GCCF and many other club committees, the loss of major sponsorship from the Supreme, many people cannot believe that the GCCF would see the position of Our Cats as being the most pressing problem to deal with.
But if they are prepared to act with such decisiveness in this instance, can we now expect similar decisions to tackle the real problems facing the world of cats?
You be the judge.
Vince Hogan - Editor in Chief
PS: I find it sad, but not surprising, that a number of people have written in, but wish to remain anonymous, in case of repercussions either in their breed, online or at shows. Let me assure everyone that each writer has supplied their full name and address, but we are respecting their right to anonymity in this instance.