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Abyssinian Breed Council Newsletter - April 2010

Norm Auspitz, Abyssinian Breed Council Secretary
1110 Lodge Hill Rd.
Louisville, KY 40223-5510
Home: (502) 244-6133
E-Mail: BC-Secretary@AbyssinianBC.org

Abyssinian Breed Council URL: http://wwwAbyssinianBC.org

To the Abyssinian Breed Council, we have had one ballot item, which due to administrative issues with the 2008 ballot, had to be reissued on the 2009 ballot. In a nutshell, it was requested that the 036X prefixes be discontinued as of May 1, 2010. No previous registrations would be affected by this change. The rationale pointed out that the 036X prefixes, which were postulated to let breeders know that a particular ruddy or red Abyssinian carried or potentially carried the dilute gene, no longer served this purpose. In fact there have been some continuing situations where ruddies and reds sired by or born to 036X cats or blues or fawns were still registered as 038X cats. This is untenable as the information content of the 036X prefix became unreliable. There is, indeed, no substitute for line chasing.

I have included the entire transcript from the February, 2010 CFA Board of Directors discussion on the Abyssinian ballot (See below)

I was disappointed with the number of people who voted, but by the rules over 60% of those voting were in favor of discontinuing the 036X prefixes, so the motion carried. We have discussed this at every breed council meeting in all parts of the country since 2006, and have followed the breed council rules about when things go on the ballot. I have included those rules below, as well. Even though we asked for a May 1, 2010 date to stop issuing 036X prefixes, Central Office chose February 18, 2010, as is their right.

We have established an Abyssinian Breed Council e-mail list.

To subscribe, please send an e-mail to:CFA-ABY-BC-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Only Abyssinian breed council members in good standing are allowed to subscribe to the list. To see whether or not you are currently a breed council member, follow: www.cfa.org/breed-council/index.html. Click on Abyssinians and a window will show up indicating the Abyssinian breed council membership as of September 29, 2008.

I also want to express condolences to Sylvia Fitzgeraldís family. We have lost a master Abyssinian breeder, a fine judge, and a role model for all of us. We will all miss you, Sylvia.

The breed council owes a hearty vote of thanks to Kim Everett-Hirsch and Fred Hirsch for having donated our lovely breed rosettes in the past. A few years ago, we were able to make the Award Booklets pay for themselves, now the breed council is in a position to pay for the rosettes, ourselves. We appreciate all the help form Kim & Fred.

After a small successful trial last year, we will begin to order additional rosettes for those who want them.

Many years ago, the Abyssinian Breed Council blazed a trail with attention to health issues in our breed. In more recent times the breed council has shown we can police our own and look after Abyssinians that crop up in shelters or whose owners are no longer in a position to properly care for them.

I would like to thank all of you as this December I will have been your breed council secretary for twelve years. I appreciate the confidence you have shown me, but it has always been my intention at some point to step down. There were a number of things I felt the breed council should accomplish and, with the help and generosity of all of you, we have done so. It has been a wonderful twelve years, but you will be voting on a new breed council secretary in November. Whoever is elected, they have my assurances that I will offer them whatever service to the breed council they ask me to provide. The breed council secretary cannot do this without a lot of help from a number of people. I will hope Regina Shaffer and Anne Gamboa will continue to help produce with the award booklets and the award rosettes, respectively. These quality award booklets and quality rosettes have served as a model for a number of other breed councils. See you at the shows!

Respectfully Submitted,

Norman Auspitz

Results of the 2009 Abyssinian Breed Council Poll

Breed Council Secretary: Norman Auspitz Ė Louisville KY

  • Total Members: 86
  • Ballots Received: 46
  • 60% of Voting: 28

1. PROPOSED: As of May 1, 2010, all newly registered ruddy male Abyssinians will have prefix 0380, all newly registered ruddy female Abyssinians will have prefix 0381, all newly registered red male Abyssinians will have prefix 0382, all newly registered red female Abyssinians will have prefix 0383.

RATIONALE: In the current Abyssinian registration rules, the following table of registration prefixes is used for ruddy Abyssinians or red Abyssinians born out of any dilute or alleged dilute carrying parent (either the sire or the dam or both):

  • Ruddy Male Ė 0360
  • Ruddy Female Ė 0361
  • Red Male Ė 0362
  • Red Female Ė 0363

By dilute carrying we mean a blue, fawn, a ruddy or a red born from a blue or a fawn, or from an alleged dilute carrier. By alleged dilute, we mean a ruddy or red with a 36x prefix.

Our current method of tracking cats as alleged dilute carriers is flawed in two ways: First, there are numerous instances of glitches wherein ruddies and/or reds out of 36x cats and dilute cats have been registered as 38x cats. When these have been discovered, they have been corrected, but not all instances have been discovered, let alone corrected. Furthermore, a 36x prefix is not necessarily an indicator of carrying the dilute gene, but a possibility that the dilute gene may be present. In the first case we have cats that may be carrying dilute that are 38x cats and in the second case we have 36x cats they may not be carrying dilute. According to information theory, having bad information is worse than having no information at all. We have discussed this at length in breed council meetings on the Abys-List and the Abyssinian breed council list. Also, I have been in contact with the CFA Executive Director about the practicality of some of the suggestions many of the breed council members have made. At the Austin annual in 2007, there was a vote taken at the last meeting to put an item on the ballot to do with the continued use or not of the 036x prefixes for red or ruddy Abyssinians that MAY be carrying dilute. However, given the Abyssinian protocol for putting things on the ballot and some pretty heated discussion ensuing after that meeting, I felt that we should wait another year and look at putting this on the 2008 ballot. This gave us both a deadline and more time for productive discussions about what the breed council really thinks the Board should direct Central Office to do about these prefixes. The vote at the Abyssinian breed council meeting at the Louisville annual to put this on the 2008 ballot in this form was overwhelming. Given our breed council protocol for putting things on the ballot, this has been discussed enough and is now time for a vote.

YES: 30 NO: 16

BOARD ACTION: DelaBar called the motion. Motion Carried. Calhoun, Petersen, White, Krzanowski, Altschul, Kusy, DelaBar and Johnson voting no.

Kusy: OK, Abyssinian. Iím trying to think how to explain this. Darrell, maybe you would want to address this, what it is they want to do.

Newkirk: When the blue Abyssinian was introduced into CFA in 1984, Jimmie Thompson came up with a recommendation that an identifier number be given to the reds and the ruddies that had dilute in the background, and so the Abyssinian prefix of 038X, depending on what color you are, so those reds and ruddies who carry or have that in their ancestry got a 036X number. So, this is pretty much like the breed change thatís in the Burmese standard where those cats have 1400 as a prefix that have dilute in their background. So, I know you all got a letter from someone who said that this hasnít been discussed. This has been brought up for I donít know how many years now. Over and over and over we discussed this, and basically what this proposal does is, it eliminates that identifier number and it actually registers the cat what color it is. So, if youíre a ruddy male, youíre going to get 0380. If youíre a ruddy male that has dilute in the pedigree, youíre still going to be registered 0380 instead of 0360. The problem is, the system is not accurate because we have 0380 cats throwing dilutes, which they shouldnít, and weíve got 0360 numbers that never throw a dilute, so itís sort of an old system. Itís not accurate and even Joan Miller supports this.

DelaBar: Joan changed her mind.

Newkirk: She changed her mind?

DelaBar: Yeah, and if I can tell you why. Leslie has just identified a dilute identifier or dilute gene to get it. We donít have a test for it yet.

Newkirk: Even so, I still am in favor of this because itís just, people should be doing pedigree research, OK? It shouldnít be based on what a prefix number is. If youíll look at the registration stats, the 0360 numbers far, far are more of them being registered than 0380 numbers. So anyway, this has gone on for a long, long time. Actually, itís a registration rule and it doesnít require 60%. I wish that we could, this board could develop the mentality of separating what is a breed standard change that requires 60% and what is a registration rule and other things that are breed polls, are simple majority. I will speak in favor of this because I think the breed council wants this. 30 people out of 46 people sent that in, and thatís over 66% and it only needs 50% actually for us to consider this.

Eigenhauser: And to kind of restate what Darrell said, but from a slightly different point of view, no one is being compelled to breed to a cat they donít want to. All weíre saying is, if you want to look for a particular type of cat in your pedigree, do some line chasing, do a little bit of research, but take responsibility for your own actions. Donít rely on what is essentially a flawed system for identifying. Do a little homework instead.

Altschul: We have a similar situation in the Persians with CPCís indicating Colorpoint ancestry versus not, and I donít think it has ever come before the breed council, but we have significant more numbers of Colorpoint carriers than we have Persians, so to speak, without the Colorpoints, but if you go to any show, youíll find that you would be hard pressed to find a Colorpoint carrier cat being shown. The numbers just indicate we have a lot, a lot, a lot of non-showing breeders breeding the Colorpoint carrier ancestry cats. I like Ė I breed both and I like the identifier number because itís history to me, an historical record that we keep and it honors the catís heritage. Whether or not itís correct because some people have hung some papers is irrelevant. For those who didnít, and we hope that the majority of our people donít hang papers, it indicates the catís history, it indicates where it comes from and lineage without having to do line chasing which sometimes you have a hard time finding all the pedigrees. Persians are very lucky. We have an incredible resource on the internet for Persians. The other breeds are starting to catch on to that, but itís not as simple to line chase as it may first seem. I realize that this passed the breed council. I wish the 40 people on the breed council who were there had actually voted. I wish we had more people voting, but I think we have less people voting on some of the breed councils, because they donít think the board listens.

DelaBar: That type of statement really teeís me off.

Anger: I am a big supporter of honoring the registration numbers that we have set up. In the Abyssinian, however, their choice is to do it this way. I think with every breed, they have their own terminology and their own climate. In this case, Iím going to support the breed council. I wish they would wait until we have the DNA in place, because itís so close and once we do this, itís not something we can un-do. In this case I am going to honor the breed council, because this is what they want to do with their breed.

Newkirk: I think trying to compare the CPCís to Abyssinian is way off base, first of all, because the Colorpoints have a division within the breed and they act as a breed. Itís different. The Abyssinian is one breed. We have four colors. Itís different.

DelaBar: Are there any other comments? My personal belief is that we have the ability to give unique identifiers, which is a term that we coined when we were looking for the Singapura breed to make sure that we werenít getting solid color kittens out of them, and to have that ability to track these cats.

Newkirk: Can I make one closing comment?

DelaBar: Well, this was my closing comment before calling the question.

Newkirk: I just want to say, this has nothing to do with putting the cats in the ring or anything like this, absolutely nothing. Thatís what the bottom line is. It has nothing to do with anybodyís breeding program, because we breed our cats on pedigrees. This is something the breed council wants and I think itís something we should honor. Of course there may be a test. We develop new tests all the time.

DelaBar: Darrell, but I do get a chance before calling the question to voice my opinion, too.

Newkirk: I understand.

DelaBar: OK? And thatís what Iím trying to do. We have the identifier for people to be able to use, and until we get DNA in place, itís not hurting if we donít pass it. Obviously, it really doesnít hurt if we do pass it, but until we get DNA, I would like to see them still have their identifier in place. On that, Iím calling the question.Ē

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