To start /off, I introduced our guest speaker for the evening, Pam DelaBar, CFA Board member. Later in the evening we were pleasantly surprised by the attendance of Diana Doernberg, another CFA Board member, who also graciously answered our questions.
The first question, asked by Rob Vollum, was about the status of the Cattery Inspection Program. Pam responded that the inspection is strictly voluntary until litters containing a total of 75 kittens are registered. Then inspection is required to obtain further services from CFA. The lottery system was voted down by the delegation at an annual meeting. There were only 122 catteries that were flagged for this mandatory inspection last year.
Amanda Bright asked about whether it has been considered to require inspections of the catteries of judging program candidates. Pam stated that the question of legality was raised about requiring *incumbent* judges to submit to inspections. It is currently strongly encouraged that they do participate, however. Pam stated that she would present to the board the subject of requiring inspections as part of the judging program application.
Ellen Crockett asked whether the new Constitutional Amendment would restrict the development of new breeds. Laurie Schiff also followed up on this question, as did Toni (oops, I forgot the last name... apologies!) In answering the question, Pam stated that the board has been approached for recognition of the Sphynx (a breed she stated she liked personally, after having slept with one... oh geez, did I really type that? <GG>)
Toni asked for a clarification on CFA's stand on HHP's. Pam stated that she had asked the delegates to think long and hard about the amendment, as she wanted to make sure welfare and rescue efforts were not thwarted. She was also investigating a neuter/spay program that "would knock the AR types on their bottoms". It would require CFA's computer banks and tracking system. Now they'll have to find another way to do this. Toni stated that with the support given to CFA by Friskies (used primarily by HHP's) the organization should consider recognition and titles for HHP's. Toni stated that most exhibitors get their start with HHP's.
Kathy Black inquired as to the status of the International Registry. Pam emphasized that the IR was dead and that the registration rules of 1979 still stand, five generations of approved breed/colors, with three for the Korat and eight for the Burmese.
Amanda asked why the original HHP proposal, raised at the 1994 annual, was not prenoticed. Pam answered that board members, as delegates, were just as eligible to present motions for the floor as any of the other delegates are. She expressed regret that the whole issue turned into such an emotional one, rather than as a welfare issue... (I added that this was, according to Tom Dent, his original intent! Now AKC is proceeding with the microchipping of dogs AND CATS and reaping the PR benefits!)
Rob Vollum asked a question regarding the acceptance of e-mail show entries. He asked why the amendment allowing fax entries specifically excluded e-mail ones (according to Craig Rothermel). Pam responded that the issue requires further investigation into the ramifications.
There was a discussion between Pam and Amanda regarding Robert's Rules of Order as to whether a Point of Order can be raised by the delegation to ask that they be allowed to approach their constituency regarding motions presented from the floor.
I asked about the registration of random bred cats used in American Curl breeding programs and whether the new Amendment affected that. Pat Speciale also raised this question. Diana answered that these cats are registered AS American Curls, so the amendment has no effect on them. She emphasized that the Amendment has no effect on CFA's treatment of HHP's or new breeds.
Pam followed this up (following an inquiry by Kathy Black) with stating that regions are still allowed to recognize HHP's as they wish. Iams will also take a large role in our "outreach" to the welfare of ALL cats. Pam was interviewed by the Chicago Tribune regarding the keeping of an exotic jungle cat.
Rob Vollum asked for clarification of CFA's acceptance of new breeds. Diana stated that since recognition by the CFA board prefaces CFA registration, there is no problem of conflict with the new Amendment.
Robert Gare asked if CFA did register HHP's at one time. Pam replied that the program was discontinued due to lack of interest.
I then asked a question regarding CFA expanding its current genetics committee. The current program being used to "bounce back" registrations is severely flawed. I stated that genetics is a constantly growing field of knowledge (like any area of science) and must be a dynamic process. Diana stated that the situation is being studied carefully. I also asked for the name of the person working on the standardization of colors in CFA: Jeannie McPhee. The breed council secretary's are working on this project as per Jeannie's request. Pam emphasized that the breed councils will have the final word.
Amanda asked a question regarding the perceived lack of support by CFA of the cat clubs and fanciers in Canada. Pam suggested that Canadian cat clubs needing legislative help contact Joan Miller. Many of the materials available can apply to local efforts in Canada. I also stated that Michael Brim commented that he is working on an arrangement with Friskies-Canada to provide more support to Canadian clubs
I asked a question regarding the comment I had read in Cat Tracks that the CFA board had decided on its own to change "flame point" Himalayans to "red point". (I am not a member of the Himalayan breed council, just the solid Persians). Pam stated that the change passed the breed council by a 4:1 margin. Noel Newton was NOT on the breed council at the time.
Pam DelaBar concluded with the following statement: "CFA is a dynamic, growing organization. We have the ability to have different opinions and the right to express them. Evolution can sometimes seem painful but it is necessary for survival. I encourage all to read "Making the Elephant Dance" on organizational change and dynamics. Then you'll really appreciate where we've been and where we have the potential of going. I love it."
/OFF expresses its sincere appreciation for the time and effort given by Pam and Diana to help clarify CFA issues that concern all of us. Thanks to everyone who attended this conference. Stay tuned for more /OFF projects such as this one in the future!
From here, you can go to /OFF's top-level page.