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The European Federation of WPSA Branches, recognizing the importance of person-to-person contacts to promote scientific knowledge, started to establish “Working Groups” in 1960, following the first European Poultry Conference in Utrecht. The Membership Directory 2001 lists 8 Working Groups, two have been re-activated since then and two new ones added.
There are no plans to re-activate WG7, Poultry Hygiene and Pathology, because the subject area is too broad for a Working Group and covered more adequately by the World’s Poultry Veterinary Association (WVPA). Current WVPA president is Prof. H.M. Hafez (address given under WG 10). Specific information on different Working Groups can be found in the following pages, the WPSA website and the Calendar section of WPSJ.
The Working Groups vary widely in how they organize their activities. WPSA members who are not yet familiar with this highly effective element of communication within the WPSA, should know that the secretaries of all Branches of the European Federation are regularly invited to nominate members for the WG committees, usually limited to two per branch. Working Group 6 communicates informally by e-mail.
The chairperson of each WG is elected by the committee, usually for a period of 4 years and with the option for re-election. Some WGs also elect a secretary and/or treasurer. Each WG is responsible for its own expenses. Most WGs hold business meetings during the EPC.
Unless they decide otherwise, most WGs organize Symposia in odd years, between World Poultry Congresses and European Poultry Conferences. Participants from outside Europe and non-members of WPSA are generally welcome at the Symposia.
The Working Groups of the European Federation of WPSA contribute significantly to communication in poultry science.
All branches of the European Federation are invited to identify members who should become active in a specific Working Group in order to make best possible use of this network of poultry science.
In connection with the establishment of new Working Groups and the change of chair persons, the following information may be helpful:
- Establishment of Working Groups: WGs of the European Federation have been established since 1962. Depending on the subject area, communication skill of the chairperson and other variables, some WGs have been more successful than others. New WGs can be established on request of WPSA members with an interest in a subject area which is not adequately covered by existing WGs.
- Officers and Membership: Each WG has a chairperson who is elected during the annual business meetings for a period of 4 years. Re-election is possible, but service beyond 8 years should be an exception. In some WGs, a secretary/ treasurer assists the president.
The secretary of the European Federation will ask the secretaries of all EF branches annually to review the members of each branch and to suggest changes if appropriate. The general recommendation is to have 1-2 members per branch in each Working Group, depending on membership of the branch. This rule should be handled with sufficient flexibility to allow active representation of science and industry. There is no need to nominate candidates who are unlikely to attend the meetings, while more than two active members may be allowed.
- Symposia: The main activity of working groups is to organize symposia, typically every two years, in odd years between the World Congresses and European Conferences. The host branch and the chairperson share the responsibility for planning and carrying out the symposia. Participation in the Symposia is open to WPSA members as well as non-members from any country.
Usually proceedings are offered to participants at the beginning of the symposia, with short versions of all papers. It is recommended to print additional copies, for the general secretariat of the WPSA, the secretary of the European Federation, the editor of WPSJ and (on request) to secretaries of those branches which were not represented by delegates.
- Finances: The Working Groups are responsible for their own budget, which is to be kept in a separate account. The branches organizing the Symposia are expected to cover the cost, including proceedings, from registration fee and contributions of sponsors. Net earnings may be passed on to the WG or the branch organizing the next symposium. The European Federation has limited possibilities to support symposia, e.g. by covering the travel expenses for invited speakers.
- Business meetings: Working Groups hold business meetings, during the symposia and/or at World Congresses or European Conferences. Main topics for business meetings are the planning of the next symposium, election of officers and current scientific and public issues relating to the WG activities.
- Reporting and Advertising: The chairpersons are asked to send an informal annual report about their activities to the President and Secretary of the EF, which may be identical to a short contribution for the website of the WPSA. Main contents should be: last symposium (when, where, how many participants from how many countries), next symposium (when, where) and e-mail address of the chairperson.
Since not all WPSA members will visit the website, the announcement for the next Symposium should be included in the WPSJ Calendar, at least one year ahead of the date.