Cross posted with permission from the Showbunny Yahoo group:
Recently I was asked to share a story that pertains to upcoming elections.
Two years ago, I attempted to import some Blanc de Hotots to the US
from England. As you know, Hotots are some of the rarest of the ARBA
recognized breeds and the gene pool here in the US was quite limited.
These rabbits were meant to keep alive a breed that only a handful of
the truly dedicated people were willing to work with.
Although my rabbits were competely documented with health certs and
leg bands, they were stopped by an ambitious US Fish & Wildlife
officer who was convinced that these were wild rabbits. She
"informed" me that all rabbits currently in this country were born
here and these rabbits were on a list of animals to be denied importation.
Of course, Hotots had been my only breed choice for years and being
faced with a F&W officer who insisted on sending back my long sought
after rabbits was a terrifying perspective so I called ARBA and spoke
with Glenn Carr. I expained to him that the customs people wanted the
scientific name of the rabbit and if it matched the name of the
European Wild Rabbit, they would be denied entry into this country.
Mr. Carr was unable to locate the scientific name of the domestic
rabbit but he did give me the number for Dr. Hayhow, whom he was sure
would know. I frantically called Dr. Hayhow, as the Fish & Wildlife
officer was planning on sending then back on the next flight to
England and I only had a few hours to try to rectify the problem. I
explained my situtation to Dr. Hayhow whose response was summed up by
saying "Who gave you this number? This is not an emergency. Why are
you calling me?". I spent well over $1000 to import these rabbits in
to this country. Our Hotot gene pool was dangerously inbred and I
needed a two word answer. I pleaded with Dr. Hayhow. Two words.
It's all I needed and I was desperate and in tears.
He hung up on me.
My rabbits were sent back to England.
Fortunately for me Pat Lamar was able to get me in touch with someone
at the main office of Fish & Wildlife. Between the help of Vermont's
Senator Leahy; The Chief of Congressional Affairs and Mr. Jackson at
Fish and Wildlife, my rabbits were returned to me 5 days later at my
expense. One rabbit broke his back on the return trip to the US and
of course, nothing could be done for him.
To this day, I have never understood why Dr. Hayhow felt so inclined
to hang up on me. I needed his help. Dr. Hayhow wasn't there for me
or my rabbits the last time he was President.
If he is elected once as again as President, let's hope you don't need
his help either.
BOB Hotot ARBA Convention '02-'04
Permission to cross-post granted. :)
Dr. Hayhow is a fine, extremely knowledgable man, but I don't think his actions show that helping ARBA members will be his first priority. I remember Aimee's story when she first posted it about 2 years ago, and I recall that Dr. Hayhow was upset because she called him at work. At that time, I *believe* Dr. Hayhow was Vice President of ARBA.
I support Cindy Wickizer for ARBA President. Cindy is retired, and has the time to make ARBA her priority. She has been proactive in working to prevent NAIS and PAWS from impacting rabbit breeders adversely. She is friendly, approachable, and the best choice for the job, IMO. Please vote for Cindy Wickizer for President!