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North Carolina Federation Of Dog Clubs (NCFDC) September 2005 Raleigh Debate


Jim Holt, Ph.D.  Statement

Dear recipient:

I have informed Ms. Gettis, secretary of the North Carolina Federation of Dog Clubs, that I will NOT participate in the program they are organizing on September 3, 2005.

When I was invited by representatives of the Raleigh Kennel Club to speak in Raleigh on September 3, I was asked to speak about the PAWS legislation and answer questions from fanciers, much like I had done a few weeks earlier for the kennel clubs of Northern Virginia, and which I have done in several other venues since then. I was not asked to participate in a debate, and I certainly had no reason to believe that this event would devolve into the circus atmosphere that now surrounds it. I agreed to conduct this program with the expectation that this would be an opportunity for fanciers to come and hear an explanation of the legislation and why the AKC was supporting it. I certainly expected to receive questions, including pointed ones, as I have on other occasions when I have spoken about PAWS. I have no problem with that. I also do not have a problem responding to Ms. Cindy Cooke's views on the PAWS legislation in person in an appropriate venue, as I have recently done in writing in Dog News. But I do not believe the AKC or the fancy is well served by a circus, with groups organizing blocks and demonstrations, fighting over venues, fighting over format, threatening lawsuits and hiring lawyers, organizing security, and the other hallmarks of an event spun out of control that have filled the internet over the past week.

I have informed the North Carolina federation that I am willing to come to North Carolina and participate in an appropriately formatted educational program where fanciers can learn, ask questions, and receive the best and most accurate information available. I have informed them that I do not object to sharing such a program with another presenter who does not agree with the AKC's position, so long as this person is an honest broker and is an informed participant. In my view, such a program can not be organized by September 3, nor could it succeed on that date in the current atmosphere.

I fully realize that my declining to participate in this event will be portrayed by some as the AKC running from a fight or unwilling to confront criticism.  Those of you who know me and the AKC staff, and know what we have been through the last couple of months, know that such a charge is completely untrue. You know that we firmly believe that the path on which we are embarked is the right path for the sport of purebred dogs and the future of the AKC and you know that we have been fully willing to respond to honest inquirers and critics in venues that are appropriate.

Since I do not have access to the multitude of e-lists on which the discussion of this event has occurred, I would appreciate recipients posting this commentary on all lists that you feel are appropriate.

Permission to cross post granted.

Dateline Sept. 2, 2005


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