DEFRA – EU CITES Engagement Session Attended by Nick Havemann Mart (in person) and Gordon Mellor (via phone conference)

1 The inevitability of delays at borders is accepted. Under EU regulations for CITES A,B,C and D species all will require Import and Export Cites and 30 days quarantine. All imports will have to be via an approved BIP, with Dover and Eurotunnel not designated for personal/hobbyist imports. All permits will have to be stamped by customs in the exporting countries with the potential for administrative delays and will probably need clearance by an agent.

2 CITES species will require import and export permits – this seems to scupper the pet passport proposal. DEFRA hope that CITES permits will be issued within 15 days of application – however the regulations allow up to 30 days for processing. DEFRA continue to look into the pet passport possibility but this is complicated by the need to comply with EU regulations on CITES – A B C and D are EU regs, whilst CITES only has 1, 2 and 3. It seems highly likely that all raptors will be caught by EU rules.

3 The requirement will be for all crossings into the UK to be from recognised EU border inspection ports. These are limited in number. The welfare of raptors in transit for extended periods was raised but the availability of CITES/animal trained Border Control staff overruled the automatic use of the shortest routes. Numerous arguments presented about welfare risks inherent in long delays may persuade a rethink.

4 This meeting was fundamentally about CITES, however importing issues for animal by products (Raptor food) was raised – only the Border Force representatives had any idea of likely problems. The longest delays may come getting animal by products into the UK (rather than out of the EU). The Border Force thought every vehicle would require a separate customs declaration and inspection with associated delays and costs.

5 There were limited assurances that Government departments have contingencies for the increased work-load inherent in a No-Deal BREXIT. These assurances all come with caveats however, such as ‘Due to the increase in the volume of border checks we propose to designate a greater number of ports of entry and exit – subject to adequate infrastructure, facilities and the availability of Border Force personnel trained in CITES’. There are budgets for limited increases in staff but little has been allocated for physical infrastructure.

The DEFRA Engagement Session left the impression that little preparatory work has been undertaken by Government departments, to understand and mitigate the No-Deal situation. Were the UK to exit the EU in these circumstances we will face a prolonged period of restriction and uncertainty – I make no political assertion here, merely as assessment of the likely consequences.

Whilst at the time of writing, the Prime Minister’s negotiated agreement looks unlikely to be supported in Parliament. Were it to win a majority in the House of Commons, the status quo for EU/UK import and export, border crossings and the like, applies for the time being. However there will be changes as the UK moves to the final settlement.

DEFRA have kept the door open for further engagement and I am grateful that we have had the opportunity to contribute.

Spring Meeting January 2019

Please note the Spring Meeting application is now available in the ‘Members only’ secure area, on a first come, first served basis.

[You will need to be a member of this website to access this. Please register when asked to do so, when visiting the members only area and you will be given access once you have been verified by admin].

The Spring Meeting will take place at 6.30pm on Thursday evening; followed by the Falconers’ Feast at 8pm.

BFC North West Group presentation

“The BFC North West Group”

Please note on Tuesday 25th September at 7.30pm, we are very pleased to host Jimmi Hill, who will give a presentation about the Philippine Eagle and it’s conservation. There will be a small door charge of £5, all welcome. We meet at: The Red Lion Pub, Newburgh, Wigan WN8 7NF.

Many thanks in advance and kind regards,

Funeral arrangements for Jim Chick

Thursday 16th August 2018

Memorial Service commencing at 13:00

• Salisbury Methodist Church (SP1 1EF) we recommend parking at Salt Lane or Culver Street Car parks, both of which should be free after midday.

• Burial Service will commence at approximately 15:00 Michael’s Wood Natural Burial Ground (SP4 0EQ) not SP4 0DR as that is the office, sorry). There is plenty of parking in the adjoining field.

Jim Chick

It is with great sadness that I have to report the sudden and untimely death of Jim Chick in early August. Jim was the first Director of the club as the role morphed from Hon. Secretary to the more formal business title. The Falconer records him in post from 1982-88. On standing down, he became a long-serving chairman of the Hawk Board, and it was here that he achieved so much for falconry and hawk keeping. He liaised tirelessly with the various bureaucrats at Animal Health and wider government departments, building relationships that secured our position purely through his extraordinary strength of personality. We have much to thank him for.

As a falconer he was particularly known for flying on the MoD land that is one of our legendary venues: Salisbury Plain. He also worked for the Hawk Conservancy at Andover with Reg and Ashley Smith and bred countless hawks for members and friends. He was a great display giver but never pretended that this was falconry proper. In the early days he was a pioneer of telemetry having been a radio ham and BT engineer.

A full obituary will appear in next year’s journal.

Those who knew him well will mourn his passing and on behalf of the club and his many, many friends we extend our condolences to his wife Liz and daughter Angie.

Nick Kester

Hawk Board Elections

Please be aware:

due to the new data protection laws (GDPR), the BFC need to get permission from our eligible voting members (Associate and Full) to share their names and addresses with the HB.  The information will only be used for the sending of the manifestos and ballot papers and will then be deleted.

Please email the secretary  to give permission for your details to be passed to the HB.


The British Falconers’ Club holds a minimum of personal data relating to its current and past members. This data is used solely for supplying club and falconry-related information both electronically and in printed form, and for the gathering of subscriptions. No personal data is shared with third parties. The club holds data securely for use where appropriate by its secretary, officers, and nominated individuals.

All new applicants for membership will be asked to consent to our holding a minimum of their personal data, consistent with the effective running and management of the British Falconers’ Club.

This consent is a requirement of membership.

At renewal of membership, existing members will be asked to confirm consent to our holding a minimum of their personal data, consistent with the effective running and management of the British Falconers’ Club.

This consent is a requirement of continued membership.