FALCONRY: International Association of Falconry

IAF Council of Delegates Meeting 

The 44th Council of Delegates Meeting (AGM) of the IAF took place in the historic town of Valkenswaard (the Netherlands) during 19-23 June. The meeting, chaired by new President Dr. Adrian Lombard, gathered delegates from over 30 countries as well as a number of guests including FACE’s Angus Middleton. 

The topics covered included a wide array of issues many of which are subject to active collaboration between FACE and the IAF such as the pending EU legislative proposal on Invasive Alien Species, work on CITES and animal welfare issues as well as collaboration within the IUCN family. There were also updates on the Raptors MoU in which the falconers take a lead and also some proactive work on wildlife crime, in this case the illegal taking and trading of Bonelli’s Eagles in Italy. 

Another very interesting presentation concerned the use of the Convention on Biological Diversity to try and raise the prominence of falconry as a social and biological use of resources which benefits conservation, much as with hunting, but with the added benefit of falconry’s inscription as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. On the cultural front the falconers continue to lead the general hunting community. We hope that other hunting-related disciplines will be able to follow. One of the most interesting resolutions of the meeting was to celebrate a World Falconry Day on 16 November each year. 

Overall the mutual benefits of collaboration between the IAF and FACE continue to be enormous. 

As ever the event, which was superbly organised by Fritz Kleyn and the Dutch Falconers, provided an occasion to catch up with some very interesting people and exchange ideas in a familial atmosphere.