British Cavy Council
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The British Cavy Council is the governing body in the United Kingdom for national, regional, and local cavy (guinea pig) clubs, and also for the wide range of 'breed clubs' which exist on a national basis to further the interests of particular cavy breeds, and to provide a forum for those with an interest in the breed concerned.
Nature of the Council
The Council is not itself a club or association - it is not possible, for example, to be a subscribing member, as it has only executive members. Most cavy 'fanciers' (people interested in breeding and showing purebred, or pedigree, cavies) in the United Kingdom will belong to one of the large network of local cavy clubs, and usually also one of the large regional cavy clubs (such as the Southern Cavy Club, National Cavy Club, or Scottish National Cavy Club). They may also belong to the breed club associated with their particular breed of cavy. It is in these clubs that those interested in purebred (pedigree) cavies mix with others who have similar interests, and find opportunities for showing their animals. However, all of these clubs (of which there are more than 75 in the United Kingdom) recognise the British Cavy Council as the ultimate authority, in the sense given below.
Authority of the Council
Given that most cavy activity is in the local, regional, and breed clubs, and that the large regional clubs are also the governing authorities for show rules, appeals, and judging (including the training of judges), the precise role of the British Cavy Council is sometimes misunderstood. It may, however, be summarised as follows. The Council has sole responsibility as:
- the only body competent to recognise and define different (and new) breeds of cavy;
- the recognised authority for setting 'standards' for the judging of purebred cavies in shows;
- the registering and certifying authority for official cavy breeding studs (registering a stud name entitles the holder(s) to breed and show under that name, and prevents anyone else from using the same name - it is not necessarily a guarantee of quality);
- the ultimate authority and arbiter in all matters of interest to the cavy world in the United Kingdom.
- The British Cavy Council web site
- Shelford Community Festival (UK) publishes guinea pig recipes, with apologies to the British Cavy Council
- National Cavy Club website page concerning the British Cavy Council's role in registering cavy breeding studs
- East Cornwall Cavy Club (as one example of dozens available of) a local cavy club referencing the British Cavy Council, here in relation to the recognition of new rare breeds of cavy