Wednesday, April 9, 2008

World Without AKC, Amen.

(This blog originally published on 8/8/2005.)

Is AKC over? Well gosh, it had better be! How can an organization of, by and for breeders sell them out as obviously and thoroughly as AKC is doing with PAWS, and survive?

If the NRA supported outlawing guns, you'd expect them to close their doors forever.

If PETA opened a feedlot, you'd expect their membership to drop to zero.

What if GreenPeace sponsored a whale hunt? Or the Democratic National Party ran Jerry Falwell as their Presidential candidate?

That's the picture we're looking at.

PAWS, in a nutshell, says anyone who sells more than 25 puppies/kittens/rabbits/birds etc. in a years time, has to be USDA licensed. That's two litters in a large breed. Or, one week's placements in a rescue. (Yup. PAWS covers rescue groups too.)

USDA licensed means the breeder can no longer use his own best judgment to raise his dogs. He has to follow a governmental play-book. That means he can't do natural rearing (unvaccinated) or raise dogs in packs (many hunting hounds thrive in pack environments) or even raise his dogs in the house (unsterile). And, it means the government can go into his property and kennel anytime they like without so much as a by-your-leave.

If you're not a breeder, PAWS still affects you. PAWS will limit your choice to ever become a breeder. With PAWS, to make the choice to breed, you will have to choose to give up your privacy to the government.

To paraphrase Ms. X's favorite movie: "and the AKC was the father of all this."

LIFE WITHOUT AKC. Wherein Ms. X describes a better way to manage purebred dogdom.

AKC is a dog registry, but also so much more. AKC sanctions and sponsors conformation shows that give out titles that AKC puts by the dogs' names in its stud books.

This is a conflict of interest. The AKC does not put titles won at UKC, or CKC, or APRI shows in its' stud books. Nope. It only registers titles it hands out.

A registry that is just a registry will not authorize, sanction or sponsor shows, and it would not record such titles in the stud books. It would record lineages. Names. Each with a registration number and a DNA sample. That is all.

Now if you have read this blog before, you know how Ms. X feels about dog shows, how harmful they are to breeds. But some people like to show, and Ms. X certainly isn't saying they would have to change.

There are numerous breed clubs for every breed, but rather than being registry sanctioned breed clubs, these should be independent and let public opinion dictate their survival. Each club will hold it's own shows, to its own standard and give out its own titles and certificates of showmanship. Each club can use the registration number from the independent registry in its database, but it would have no connection with, nor be influenced by or over the registry.

So you can have a club for anything you want. Hunting, conformation, obedience, circus performing, and the owner will keep the certificates he earns.

Whether any club lives or dies will depend on how well it manages itself, and promotes itself to the public. We'll give it the old 'free-market try'.

Wow. This vision without the AKC dinosaur is exciting. Challenging. Hopeful and full of promises for a better future for dogs and owners. That is, if PAWS fails.

But no matter whether PAWS passes or fails, AKC must die. Its stance in support of PAWS is unforgettable, unconscionable and unethical. And as of PAWS, you can apply those labels to people who still support AKC.

Because Ms. X and the dogs said so.

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