Letter From WGAA

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Letter From WGAA

Postby Peter Butterfield » Mon 02 Nov 2020 5:16 pm

The following is posted on behalf of the Working Gundog Association of Australia (WGAA) :-

WGAA recently wrote to ANKC proposing that WGAA Titles be included on ANKC official pedigrees. Noting that WGAA recognize the ANKC Registry as the pre-eminent database for purebred dogs and reasoning that promotion and maintenance of purebred dogs is dependent on recognition of pedigree as an indication of ancestral achievements, and thus potential trainability and utility.

Further rationale provided that WGAA...
1 Use Group 3 Gundog pedigrees as the basis of their competition registrations
2 Have no real interest in maintaining a stud book parallel to ANKC
3 Believe that the official ANKC Pedigree should reflect all of the achievements of registered working gundogs as these are a valued resource for breeders and purchasers seeking to use quality working gundogs, and
4 It would go some way to resisting a growing trend toward “designer dogs” which devalues the breed selection efforts of hunters and shooters of previous generations.

Precedents cited included:
1 The Working Gundog Association of Australia, is a recognized body by the ANKC, (ANKC Regulations Part 8 Section 1.5)
2 The inclusion of NZ Whippet Racing Titles on ANKC Pedigrees (ANKC Regulations Part 6 Section 1.6.2)

A letter from Mr Jim Jeffrey, National Discipline Chairman, SSAA Working Gundogs, for the information of members of ANKC affiliations.

Dear ANKC Registered Gundog Trialer,

I write representing myself as a hunter and field and retrieving trialer, as the President of an enthusiastic Gundog trialing branch and as the Discipline Chairman of a National Working Gundog Organisation – Working Gundog Association of Australia.

We, as owners of pure bred ANKC registered gundogs, should be grateful for the efforts of the ANKC through their State bodies to ensure the continuation of the focus on the structural integrity of all purebred dogs, in particular, our Gundog breeds.

We as trialers rely on breeders to follow the breed standards of this organisation, backed up by the knowledge held in their pre-eminent registry, so that we will, in Australia, have these magnificent animals as our companions and partners now and into the future.

Our sport is a very small part of ANKC activities, but as one that actively tests the genetic qualities of our dogs in field and retrieving conditions, it is one where the traits that have been produced by generations of skilled breeders are actively showcased.

As we face the external threats of ‘designer dog breeding’, animal liberationist organisations and the anti-gun people, we need as many diverse activities as our small number of enthusiasts can support.

There has been a concerted effort by some sections of the Gundog world to paint WGAA as a divisive force, this is not the case.

Those who are familiar with WGAA know that most of our members also organise, compete in and support ANKC events and endeavours. Anyone who cares to investigate will find that WGAA actively encourages all Gundog owners to become involved in WGAA and ANKC trials and those who come to us with non ANKC registered dogs are encouraged into pure-bred registered dog ownership.

As I indicated in my original correspondence, WGAA does not have an interest in maintaining a stud book, and in fact use ANKC pedigrees as the basis of our ‘competition registry’. We believe that the ANKC pedigree should record all relevant achievements for the betterment of breeding selection.

While the retrieving section of the Gundog world tends to hold sway, by virtue of their superior numbers, the field trialing section, genetically is possibly of more importance. But regrettably field trialing has many more challenges than retrieving and consequently very low numbers of events. As we saw in Queensland our field trial competitions became collateral damage as the duck season and associated quail season was banned due to political intervention. The last Field Trial Championship Title awarded in Queensland Spaniel & Retriever Trials was awarded to my Flat Coated Retriever, ‘Stone’ in 1992.

Gundog hunters and trialers are rightly concerned by the pressure on breeders posed by the ‘designer dog’ fads.
I hope for an Australian future, where my grandchildren and their grandchildren can witness and hopefully work with highly talented pure-bred gundogs, and I believe that we all need to be united in pursuit of this goal.

So for now I hope that the ANKC can see merit in WGAA’s proposal and follow their mission statement – ‘to promote excellence in breeding, showing, trialling, obedience and other canine related activities and the ownership of temperamentally and physically sound pure bred dogs by responsible individuals across Australia’.

Regards Jim Jeffrey
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