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CHAIRMAN

Alan Jones

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Alan Jones

CHAIRMAN'S MESSAGE - JANUARY 2018

I do hope you like the new format of the magazine, introduced this month to start a new year. The styling is re-vamped and up-dated every few years, and I think our editor Les Rance and designer Neil Randle have done an excellent job in ensuring that our publication has a fresh appeal.

It is usual practice at this time to look back over the events and achievements of the year gone by, and to look forward to the New Year ahead. Who am I to break with tradition? The Society has had a successful year in terms of our ever-popular shows at Stafford County Showground, as well as flying the flag at other events such as the Spring Show and the summer Pet Show (also at Stafford), and displays at Newark, Maidstone and Kempton Park. Talks and demonstrations were given on behalf of the Society to parrot-enthusiasts at Reaseheath College, Nantwich, and veterinary students at The Royal Veterinary College, Hertfordshire. Our members ‘days out’ at various avicultural venues were supported by small groups of enthusiasts, and we shall continue these into 2018.

Earlier in the year we moved into new offices at Hardy House, in Berkhamsted – a much newer building, with better access and parking! A meeting was held in Bristol at DEFRA headquarters, to discuss the CITES registration of African Grey Parrots, since their upgrade to Appendix A. The process is still causing some difficulty with members who have kept these birds for decades, but the situation is steadily improving. The PSUK now has a presence on Facebook, with increasing interest in that site, and we are in the process of improving and modernising our ageing website. Such on-line presences are essential in this day and age.

2018 will see more of the same, with shows and days out, plus as much as we can do in terms of promoting the Parrot Society, and the care and welfare of these amazing birds. The new website should go live, and we have several worldwide conservation projects to consider for financial support. At our January Council meeting, we will discuss in more detail a plan for the longer-term objectives and goals of the Society. We need to take into account the falling membership of many bird clubs; the variety of groups supporting conservation projects, often with unnecessary duplication; the exposure of parrot keeping to a younger audience; and ongoing education in the husbandry, dietary needs and general welfare of these birds.

Finally, once again I wish all our members and readers very best wishes for a Happy Christmas – if this magazine arrives in time – otherwise we all look forward to a healthy and interesting New Year in 2018. National and international politics will no doubt continue to dominate the news, but our experienced and enthusiastic staff and Council will focus on the ongoing success of The Parrot Society UK in the years ahead. We once again thank you for your support of and interest in the Society.

Alan Jones Dec 2017