Federal & State Laws that usurp our legal Rights are often driven by animal "rights"
A Lesson In Foxhunting
by Linda Witouski, AKC judge, Delegate, Legislative Liaison
Foxhunting, Politics, Dog Owners vs. the Animal Rights Movement Legislation and Solutions!
We would think that we would learn from history, but most unfortunately, history doesn't seem to be a popular subject among the dog fancy.
From 2002: I know dog owners are probably finding all of this Legislative hoopla hard to believe, and some of you probably think that the AKC should be fighting this battle for you, but it is impossible for them to be on top of every state. If you think that legislation denying you your right to breed, own or show dogs doesn't have a chance in the U.S., think of the Scots and their beloved Foxhunting. How long have the people in Scotland and neighboring countries been foxhunting? It is now banned in Scotland and barely on life support in all other areas. Why, you ask - what happened... how could the politicians do that?
The animal rightists continually pushed and forced the debate until their thoughts and beliefs were THE political issue....and the Foxhound Fanciers were not ready for it. They were not prepared! They thought the AR's would just give up and go away. They laughed about it ... they thought that somebody else was taking care of the problem ... didn't think it was important....so, they gathered their dogs, jumped on their horses and went - foxhunting.....!! Why, who would ever even imagine that the foxhound sport that has been around since dirt could be attacked by a bunch of 'fanatics' who would win? But, win they did!
At the end of the day’s hunt on the day of the ban, when the Foxhunters returned, they were arrested, dogs were confiscated. and all of Scotland was quiet.
Anybody want to take bets on how long it will be before the first ban of a dog/cat show takes place and people begin to lose their own dogs ? No bets? How about betting on how long it takes before the U.S. is overrun with anti-dog, anti-cat, anti-animal legislation? Everybody needs to sit up and pay attention! The animal rights movement is coming and when it does, it will come hard and fast!
The dog showing fancy have always thought of themselves as better than the average dog, and though they may well be for a variety of reasons - commercial facilities have a right to exist too. “Puppy mill and commercial breeders have been fighting anti-animal legislation for many years and it's time the showing/owning fancy get with the program before it's too late. People need to set aside their feelings about others and concentrate on saving their rights - our rights - working together. Those that make disrespectful comments about others, who joke and laugh about legislative issues and point fingers at the "puppy mills" should take heed of the lesson to be learned in Foxhunting. I would be willing to bet that very few bother to check legislative issues in their town or state. I assure you, this agenda against our rights will move from state to state, for those who would see us dogless will be relentless in their quest. What will you do when it comes to your town? What would you give to be able to regain the freedom of choice you will have lost?
Fast forward to 2008: I wrote the above in 2002, and it's alarming that many still don't find it important enough to assist in politics and legislative issues. Make no mistake - we are surrounded. The Animal Right Movement is even worse now than in 2002. If you take note of the legislation being passed around the country, outlaying and coastal states are being coerced into stricter laws. California, Texas, New Mexico, Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Wisconsin are currently being besieged with bad legislation and notably, they create a net that surrounds the remainder of the U.S. Results there cause an "inward" push into the traditional heartland of our country. Once outlying coastal states are acquired, they will continue to push inland until there is no where to run.
Those that have been working legislation for many years have become very good at combating poor legislation, but, just like the Spartans at Thermopylae, the opposition is in the millions and sooner or later our phalanx will fail. It should be the opposite since we are the ones that care about animals, the dogs, and the sport.
People don't realize that the Animal Rights movement has nothing to do with the welfare of the animals - genuine animal welfare is being sacrificed for a political victory over animal owners. As the Foxhunting lesson taught us - a movement's means create its ends... so, the next time you think none of this will affect you or your dog, or that "it'll never pass" - think about Foxhunting - and if you still decide to "do nothing", know that you will have become a part of that movement meant to create its ends.
Every club, organization and dog owner needs to rise up and take their place in the phalanx. We need to be visiting schools and promoting our political position rather than allowing Animal Rights public education programs to infiltrate school systems. We need to encourage young people who have a love for animals to join us by taking them under our wing. We need to offer assistance to those who have been injured by some dog in Small Town, USA. We need public service announcements to advertise both local dog clubs and responsible ownership, offering free "responsible ownership" classes to parents and children.
Most importantly, we need to know our politicians by creating voting alliances in every state and let those in politics know that we are watching them. We need to make our presence known, and what we stand for by introducing ourselves to local governments, even if it means assisting with some other issue that is non animal related - something that is near and dear to a politician that you helped them with will go far when you need it. (It wouldn't hurt to run for a political position either!)
There are a million other ideas that clubs, officers, members and owners can come up with if they would only take the time to sit down, discuss, and then DO it....before it's too late!
That is, unless, of course, you are all out .... Foxhunting.
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