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AKC BOARD MINUTES, NEWS, COMMENTARY
AKC Field Reps, frozen semen, Register Of Merit (ROM), show rankings, proposed $25 exhibition tax, Pekingese Club, Toy
Fox Terrier Club, and club theft dominate the news!
Jan 2009 | TheDogPress.com
Barbara J. Andrews, Editor-In-Chief,
Not all the news
is released in the AKC Board Meeting Minutes or in the
Chairman's Report. For background, see prophetic Oct. 2008 editorial,
AKC Economics and Wall Street. This is just a brief summary of discussed, approved, or shelved business
reported by AKC.
American Kennel Club Field Reps: For 2008, there were 1415 all breed shows, and the
Executive Field Reps (EFR) covered 1372 or 97% of shows. That is a huge
improvement since the turn of this century because prior to that, the odds of
ever seeing an AKC
Rep was only when you had done something wrong.
Show Rankings: The AKC Board is still thinking about setting up its own conformation
ranking system. Some think that would be great, especially since so many dog
food sponsors no longer support a ratings system. Others worry that it would
diminish established Awards developed by the breed clubs. A multi-group judge
pointed out that AKC already profits from selling show results to the dog
magazines and he went on to say having AKC take over the ratings “would be like letting the Government Accounting Office run our banking system.”
Champion Progeny: Breed Clubs
began to keep track of top sires and dams after this editor established the
Register Of Merit System in 1968 (see below). Yet to this day, the AKC can not tell you how many champions a
dog has produced. This totally contradicts the reason AKC puts forth for
holding dog shows. While there were no computers "back then" AKC has never cared about the genetic aspect
of breeding and showing dogs to make use of the computerized registrations and
record keeping. I laboriously kept records on the 3 x 5 index card system.
The American Kennel Club could have been in the best position to help
breeders perpetuate the genetic qualities of outstanding sires and dams.
Project shelved but here is additional background:
ROM System: Appears
it is not to be developed by AKC. In the Sixties I began
publishing the Rottweiler Handbooks, laboriously compiling records from the tiny
print in the AKC Gazette. The Akita was recognized in 1972 so in 1973, I
published the first Akita Handbook, which in addition to champion progeny also
tabulated points for Breed and Group ratings,
and included complete show results that were cross-indexed to Judges and Breeders. The
Handbooks were the first “Register Of Merit System” and two years later I expanded the ROM,
creating the ROMX, ROMP, and the ultimate ROMXP title. My copyrighted Register
Of Merit system and titles were later “adopted” by the Akita Club Of
America, then formalized when I granted the club legal permission to use it. The
ROM system is now used by many breed clubs and it could have been programmed
into AKC's computers to provide genetic indicators.
Frozen Semen Program: Instead
of genetic indicators, AKC announced it is considering a frozen semen
program. AKC President Dennis Sprung, addressing the Delegates Meeting,
explained that a semen program would “generate significant revenue for AKC.”
It is a free market so it would be only fair if the companies that invested
$millions pioneering frozen
and chilled canine semen semen began registering dogs to make up for the lost
business. Actually, they might consider partnering up with the dog show
superintendents because it is possible AKC will revisit offering that service.
AKC Exhibition Tax: AKC plans
to help pay for the frozen semen start-up by imposing something called an
Annual Activity Fee. Call it what you will but most will call it what
it is, a TAX! It is no small amount either. AKC is talking
about an initial (you know what that means) tax of $25.00 for each dog, each
year you exhibit the dog. But not to worry, the $millions from the Exhibition Tax
will be used to help fund other worthwhile programs. There. That should make
every exhibitor feel much better. Unless the new income to the not-for-profit AKC is over- estimated.
Surely the tax is will impact already declining entries. I call it the
"Whoa!!!" effect as the novice exhibitor re-considers continuing
in such an expensive “hobby.”
AKC imposed a 700% increase on the Event Recording
Fee in 2008 (see
AKC Economics) but when it tried to float an unlimited Recording fee "tax"
increase in June 2008, the Delegates finally said "no way." So is the "Annual Activity Fee", aka Exhibition Tax just
Registrations: Some twenty years ago I
was given a tour of The Kennel Club’s (England) registration department. They
were converting from index cards to computer records but even then, I’ll wager
they could have come up with how many champion progeny any TKC registered dog
had produced. TKC registers fewer
dogs than AKC but The Kennel Club employs only a fraction of the staff. The
handful of registration department staff was busily at work in the section we
visited. There was a big tote board on the wall that displayed the numbers and
processing time elapsed. Litter registration turnaround was only 3 to 5 days in
England at a time when it took 6 to 8 weeks to get a litter packet back from AKC.
Theft of Club Funds: The Board discussed the theft of club funds by club members. This
crime appears to be on
the increase. AKC has offered
repeated recommendations but many clubs still don’t have their financial records
audited or their officers bonded. Most theft cases call for civil or criminal
action so AKC has stayed out of it but management will re-think this and report
back to the Board.
Pekingese Club: The Board
received and considered material from the Pekingese Club of America (PCA), and a
request to reinstate the club’s show-giving privileges. The Peke Club took steps
to address concerns previously raised by the AKC Board such as the PCA Board
having canceled its February 2009 annual meeting. The problem is said to be that
the PCA Bylaws call for the annual meeting to be in conjunction with the
February show but the show approval was withheld by AKC because the club
couldn’t resolve internal discord. Talk about a rock and a hard place! New York
State law requires holding an annual meeting if called for in the Bylaws, so the
AKC Board believes that it should be held. AKC says its disapproval of the PCA’s
traditional big February show was “not intended to, and should not have affected
the holding of any club meeting.” Obviously there wouldn’t have been much of a
meeting if held because many members make the trip for the Pekingese Club’s
super Specialty show prior to Westminster. The AKC Board will discuss this
further at its February Meeting but hopefully the PCA will find a work-around to
avoid jeopardizing its NY Charter.
American Toy Fox Terrier Club: The Board was advised that
the club did not follow its bylaws completely with respect to the ballot in its
recent election. There was a motion by Mrs. Schaefer, seconded by Mr. Goodman,
and it was VOTED (unanimously) to send a letter of reprimand to the club for
failure to comply with three bylaw provisions relative to the election process.
The club President and Officers say they knew nothing of the reprimand and as of
Jan 23rd, have not received the letter. (note, months later, the ATFTC still denies
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