I did not have the intention responding to an incident which occurred at the Swiss Budgerigar
National Show on 15th October 2016, but incoming emails and calls and perhaps more
importantly “wild rumours” cause me to respond.
To recap what happened and what did not:
I was enjoying a family holiday with friends the week prior to the show. On late Friday
afternoon we came home. After feeding the birds and checking the breeding pairs in their
cages, I started my routine to prepare and select the birds for the show. Many of the show
birds selected came from the breeding cages and others from the aviary. Finally, a show team
of 31 birds were chosen.
A cinnamon grey recessive hen was among those selected. She was already shown by me at
the Karlsruhe European Championship in August 2016. After my return from that show she
developed “wet” eyes. As with all birds that develop these symptoms I cut away the feathers
near the eye to make the eye area free and to be sure the feathers will not quickly regrow.
A few weeks later this same hen was put into my breeding programme.
On Saturday 15th October2016 in the morning of the show, I placed the show team into their
show cages - for me there was no additional thoughts given about this hen since the
problematic eye was clear and dry.
On the afternoon of the show, I tried to call Toni Binggeli and Marcel Bühler. Eventually Toni
Bingelli answered my call and told me that he was not pleased with me. He told me that all
my birds had been excluded from the contest due to alleged manipulation of a hen bird. I
denied any wrong-doing and told him that a manipulation was not possible. During this
conversation it became clear to me that he referred to the hen where the eye feathers were cut
to aid healing.
I made my way to the show to collect my birds.
At the show, I was looking for the show manager Marcel Bühler, but with emotions high at
his side, it was difficult to hold a meaningful conversation. I tried to explain to him what
really had happened.
He told me that I should know the rules and the association followed
the show rules and they had excluded all my birds from the contest. Because of me, the show
was ruined and club stewards had needed to work extra hard to manage the situation and that I
had disgraced the association. Thus, an early and prejudiced judgement by the representatives
of the association took place.
I tried to explain that if I had wanted to deliberately manipulate a bird, I could have pulled out
feathers near the eye and certainly not cut them, and likely this would have gone undetected -
a deliberate and obvious manipulation with scissors would have been stupid. My argument
fell on deaf ears.
At that time I left thinking that at a later time-point, the representatives of the association and
I would discuss the incident with the calmness of time and in a objective way. Time passed
and I heard nothing more from the association.
On Thursday 3rd November 2016, I received news via the social network of fellow breeders in
Kuwait, England and Singapore that I was expelled by the association. Furthermore, the
receivers of the Swiss Budgie Club letter were asked to forward the letter for alleged
transparency reasons to other relevant clubs and members. Under normal legal processes and
normal legal stand-point this procedure was more than questionable.
A few hours later the postman arrived with a registered letter by the Swiss Budgie Club with
the aforesaid content, copy to various other Swiss bird organisations and to WBO.
Minutes of a meeting where the incident was discussed were not and are not available to me
nor was I invited to provide my position nor was I granted my right to be heard – I was simply
provided with the outcome. The missing piece seems to be a discussion with the accused or an
appeal process, which belongs to all normal legal processes including those which occur in
That’s why I have now consulted a lawyer to examine further steps.
I very much regret the whole case, however, to accuse me of a deliberate manipulation with
the intent to gain advantage is absurd.
I have been a longterm member of the Swiss Budgie
Club and have much to thank the club and their members. I have enjoyed many collegial
hours with their members and remain friends with many.
Neither the manner nor the decision by the association appears to be justified and my sincere
hope and expectation are that the association’s committee will re-visit their actions and
Würenlos, November 2016