Sunday, July 27, 2008

Giant Pumpkin


During the hot summer months when I don't show my rabbits, I spend a lot of time in the garden, particularly the pumpkin patch. There's a lot that goes into growing a giant pumpkin. You need to get a soil test done to see what nutrients the soil needs, and amend it accordingly. You want to start your seeds inside and plant your Atlantic Giants in the soil as soon as you can, preferably early May in this part of the country. You need to protect them from frost and warm the soil to get them off to a good start. Once the plants start growing, you need to bury the vines so that they set down more roots, train the secondary vines so they don't overlap, and pinch off tertiary vines as you see them. When the female flowers form you need to protect them from heat, and you hand-pollinate them first thing in the morning before they open (put a baggie on them the night before to make sure nothing gets in them before you do), and then tie them shut. This way you know their pedigree, so to speak. ;) Keep pollinating female flowers as they mature. The one pumpkin you want to keep should ideally be 12 - 16 feet out on the main vine. Once they get basketball sized, you can be pretty sure they won't abort. Once you've picked your keeper, you cull the others and put some kind of protection under the keeper so that moles and other ne'er-do-wells can't attack your pumpkin from underneath. I use heavy, porous landscape fabric with 100 pounds of sand on top of it. The sand enables the pumpkin to slide over the fabric as it grows. You also want to bend the main vine so that the shoulders of your pumpkin don't rub against it as it grows, rubbing will damage both and possibly give fungus or bacteria a foothold. You need to prop the vine up so that it will rise with the pumpkin as it grows. You need to use systemic pesticides and/or spray regularly for pests (I use a homemade garlic and cayenne pepper spray, it works quite well). You need to feed the plant regularly, organic products seem to work best, and feed foliarly as well as drenching the soil. You also need to keep the pumpkin shaded, since the sun will toughen its skin, making it more prone to splitting. I use a twin-size fitted sheet.

It's an awful lot of work for something you aren't going to eat!

Looking at the picture above, realize that the leaf you see is almost two feet across, and I have 2 liter Pepsi bottles full of water (shaded by white cardboard) propping the vine up. That pumpkin has a 52" circumference! It is 15 days old. I'll keep you all posted with its progress. :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

PLEASE READ AND PASS ON TO YOUR FRIENDS

ARBA ELECTIONS, 2008

AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL ARBA MEMBERS


CINDY WICKIZER FOR ARBA PRESIDENT

On July 15th ARBA ballots will be mailed to each voting member for a very important election. When you review the past two years of ARBA leadership, have your concerns been addressed with campaign promises that have been met over that time? Have you been able to directly phone the ARBA President and discuss those issues? Are you noticing a decline in the number of ARBA clubs, membership and show entries in your area? Have your concerns about our ARBA youth contests been addressed? Has the ARBA leadership provided you with positive solutions which will help you? Are you concerned with training new registrars and judges to have the skills to judge your rabbits and cavies? Are you concerned with national, state and local regulations that hinder our industry? Are you concerned about being able to fly your animals to the national convention or your national shows? Are you concerned that options may exist to promote the growth of the rabbit and cavy industry? Are you concerned that an open line of communication must exist between all officers and directors and the membership? Are you concerned about the financial stability of the ARBA at the present time? Are you concerned that the ARBA Constitution and By-Laws are being followed?


If your answer to any of these questions is YES, then perhaps it is time that you consider a vote in a positive direction for our association where people work together for our common goals. Let’s make a change with the only person that is running for the position of ARBA President who has proven their record at a local, state and national level. Let’s make a change with a President who believes in finding positive solutions for the benefit of all of our members. Several years ago, she had a network in place with other small stock breeders who are faced with the same common cause that face us in these changing times.


The person we are speaking about is of course CINDY WICKIZER, Washington for your next ARBA President.


Cindy has been a proven leader in the ARBA for a number of years as the only woman president. Her track record certainly speaks for itself. Please refer to her two full page ads in the May-June, 2008 issue of Domestic Rabbits magazine. We encourage you to also re-read her candidate profile in the same issue.


Cindy Wickizer is a proven leader that is not afraid to explore and try a new idea to strengthen the ARBA in these difficult times.


Cindy has been a proven leader in the ARBA in a variety of positions over the years. She has served as ARBA President. Her track record speaks for itself. Please refer to her two full page ads in the May-June 2008 issue of the Domestic Rabbit magazine. We encourage you to re-read her candidate profile in the same issue. For the past two years, Cindy has traveled gathering ideas which might help us as an association. She continues to raise rabbits. She is not afraid to try new ideas which will help strengthen the association. She knows that our association can make a difference in passing or defeating legislation. We all know that she does not have the power to reduce our fuel bills etc….


Please don’t set your ballot aside, spend that 42 cent stamp and make a change for the betterment of the American Rabbit Breeders Association.


CINDY WICKIZER FOR ARBA PRESIDENT


THANK YOU FOR YOUR VOTE


We also ask you to pass this message on to all your rabbit and cavy friends in your address book.

And *I* ask you to also vote for Eric Stewart for Vice President.


Friday, July 11, 2008

A purely political post

Anyone who thinks universal, government-sponsored health care is a good idea needs to watch this video:

http://www.freemarketcure.com/brainsurgery.php

Additionally, Germany's state-sponsored medical plan used to be touted as an example of what socialized medicine could be. It has since become a massive budget nightmare, and has been extensively scaled back:

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,2117345,00.html

If you need a further example that government-sponsored health care is a bad idea, one only needs to look at the Veterans Administration. Regardless of the party in the White House, many veterans get the short shift and languish or even die for lack of care.

If our government can't or won't take care of its own veterans, what makes anyone think the rest of us would fare better?

Please do not vote for a candidate who thinks a bureaucracy can make better decisions than you and your doctor can.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

It just gets better and better...

OK, I heard back from some more folks regarding the fiasco with the tattoo proposal I submitted to IAGARB. All supportive! And I also got an email from Alexis Woodbury. I will let it speak for itself:


Hello Janet,


I wanted to respond to you since I am the committee member who talked with Mr. Gehr at ARBA. The Standards Committee is aware that many IAGARB members also have memberships in ARBA, and appreciates your interest in participating in both organizations.


I personally am one of those members with dual membership and wanted ARBA's input on showing in both organizations. Most importantly, I felt it was crucial to inquire how IAGARB's tattoo procedure would relate to showing in ARBA. In order to make an informed decision, I requested current information directly from the ARBA.


The conversation with Mr. Gehr was both lengthy and informative. I am pleased to take this opportunity to report more of our discussion, and am confident that it will give you a clearer understanding of the reasons for our decision.


As was reported, and as you are well aware, Mr. Gehr did respond to showing in both organizations by saying rabbits are judged by phenotype. A German Angora or a Giant Angora that has German in its background can be shown as a Giant as long as it fits the ARBA Standard.


After I explained the IAGARB procedure of tattooing the member number in the right ear and the rabbit information in the left ear, Mr. Gehr said ARBA judges check the left ear for the tattoo, and both ears for conditions like ear mites--having a tattoo in the right ear would probably not be an issue, but the decision is left up to the judge's discretion and the judge has the final say.


Mr. Gehr then brought the issue of registering Germans as Giants into the conversation. He went on to discuss where ARBA would have serious concerns, including the concern with trying to register rabbits that have non-recognized breeds in their backgrounds.


He said for most ARBA members, the object of showing their rabbits is winning Best of Breed, Best in Show and Grand Champion. He added that in order to earn the designation of Grand Champion, the rabbit must first win enough leg slips and also be registered which requires the presentation of a pedigree. He stated that if a German Angora were shown as a Giant and won enough leg slips, it still could not be awarded Grand Champion status. If a non-recognized breed appears under any of the generations listed on a rabbit's pedigree, that rabbit can't be registered.


You stated that this last discussion regarding registration should not have had any bearing on your request and may have even clouded it. At the time, I felt it was important to share the entire conversation, including registration, with the Standards Committee as members of both ARBA and IAGARB venture to participate in activities offered by each organization.


Even though ARBA registration was included in our discussion concerning showing in both organizations, it was NOT the basis upon which the committee made a decision regarding your request to use a personal tattoo system on rabbits that are presented for IAGARB registration. What did influence our decision were the following points:


From its inception, IAGARB has been constitutionally mandated to follow as closely as possible procedures set in Germany--not just with breed standard and registration, but with tattooing as well. In Europe a rabbit's ear number can include between 8 to 11 characters. Because rabbit ears are thinner and more sensitive toward the tip of the ear, it was agreed that the potential stress of a long tattoo was too great a burden on one ear.


Over the years, most members have used the German method of tattooing that includes member number and rabbit information. For that reason, and consistency in our registration data base, the decision was made at the 2007 AGM to standardize the IAGARB tattoo procedure to a single system--member number in the right ear and rabbit information in the left. The wisdom of this decision has resulted in policy that benefits all IAGARB members by providing information we all can recognize.


All members are assigned a member number--no one else will be assigned that number. The rabbit information is equally important. Even when a pedigree isn't available, the rabbit's age can be determined from the tattoo. By using this system, all IAGARB members can easily determine the age of the rabbit and the breeder. Since member numbers are listed in the Membership Directory, ALL members can be easily recognized by their member number.


Finally, Mr. Gehr indicated that the IAGARB system of tattooing both ears shouldn't be a problem on ARBA show tables, but you have expressed a recent concern with multiple rabbits tattooed with the same rabbit info. In reviewing all scenarios, it is possible that more than one rabbit on the table could have the same tattoo in the left ear, but if the IAGARB system is properly followed, these rabbits won't have the same tattoo in the right ear, thus preventing any confusion.


Janet, everyone on the Standards Committee appreciated your thoughtful petition as it has allowed us to consider and review procedure as it relates to IAGARB members and their interests. We did take into consideration that you have used your personal tattoo system for a number of years, but in the best interest of IAGARB and all members, we stand by the tattoo procedure as ratified in 2007.


Hopefully this letter will help to clarify any misunderstanding.


Sincerely,


Alexis Woodbury


(Read and approved by the Standards Committee)


To which I replied:

Hi Alexis,

Thank you for your input. I just want to further clarify three things:

You stated:

"In reviewing all scenarios, it is possible that more than one rabbit on the table could have the same tattoo in the left ear, but if the IAGARB system is properly followed, these rabbits won't have the same tattoo in the right ear, thus preventing any confusion."

ARBA judges do not look in the right ear for ID purposes. In order for them to know to do so, the exhibitors of the animals would have to instruct them to do so, thus identifying themselves as the animal's owner, and this is frowned upon. ARBA tries to judge animals as anonymously as possible.

You also stated:

"He stated that if a German Angora were shown as a Giant and won enough leg slips, it still could not be awarded Grand Champion status. If a non-recognized breed appears under any of the generations listed on a rabbit's pedigree, that rabbit can't be registered."

This is true. If any recognizable German names are in the three generation pedigree, the animal should not be registered. However, once those animals are in the fourth generation, the issue is solved. At any rate, my reason for showing, at least at this point in time, is not for registering or gaining Grand Championships. Not that that has any bearing on anything. :)

Lastly, I would appreciate it if the next issue of the newsletter had a correction in it stating clearly that the proposal submitted did NOT involve registering Germans as Giants with ARBA.

Thanks again,

Janet

Now, some things just scream to be pointed out. First of all, the account of the proposal given in the newsletter said, "The petitioner requested that we make allowances for those people who wish to register their rabbits in both the ARBA and IAGARB systems." This is a clear distortion of my proposal, and belies what Alexis is claiming. Alexis also claims that the discussion of registration with ARBA had no bearing on the decision, yet that is not what the newsletter states. Further, the account in the newsletter is supposedly from the AGM Meeting Minutes. Now, most clubs I have been a member of make the reading of the minutes one of the last things they do before closing the meeting, and they are then voted on. So, everyone at that meeting apparently felt that the account in the minutes is accurate.

Alexis' claim does not jibe with the letter that was (belatedly) sent to me by Leslie and Charlene, either. So who is being honest here?

I also find it curious that IAGARB does buck their "constitutional mandate to follow as closely as possible procedures set in Germany--not just with breed standard and registration, but with tattooing as well" when they want to. As Alexis points out, Germans only use one ear for tattoos, not both.

At any rate, when I have a Giant I want to submit for IAGARB testing, I'll have to use the IAGARB system. Fine, I'll deal with it.

I have to wonder what else they'll come up with.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Up your nose...


... with a piece of hay!

This is a photo of what I pulled out of a doe's nose this morning. She'd been sneezing, and started producing expectorate out of one nostril, and I was quite worried about her. This is a doe who just turned 4 years old and had never been sick a day in her life. I was about to give her her fourth dose of penicillin, and the fact that she was not improving also alarmed me. Visions of isolating the herd danced through my head. As I got ready to give her the shot, I spied something black sticking out of her nostril. I gently drew it out, and it turned out to be a 4 inch piece of hay! Well, that certainly explained things!

So if you have a solitary bunn who starts sneezing, don't be too quick to write them off.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Let's clarify a few things

Over the past few days I have thanked quite a few people for their
support. I wish they would have posted their support on the blog, but
oh well. I'm still grateful for it. What surprised me is that only one
IAGARB member bothered to tell me they thought what went on at the
annual meeting was wrong. I have not heard from any other members
of IAGARB, even those whom I contacted directly and asked for their
input, have been dead silent. So I can only assume either they're too
embarrassed to respond, or they're OK with it. If so, they must be
terribly misinformed, and from the correspondence I posted
previously, it's pretty obvious *who* is spreading the disinformation.
Even the information from Rich Gehr was slanted, because obviously
from the answers, the wrong questions were asked. Not because the
questioner had an ulterior motive but because she had the wrong
information.

I was reluctant to address this, because certain people will take this
post as proof positive that they were right, but I feel it necessary to
present the facts, and then I will tell you what I have been doing
these past several years.

So let's start with a history of how the Giant Angora came into being.
The animals approved by ARBA were not purebred Germans, but German
hybrids. Why? Well, because the animals originally presented to ARBA as
"Commercial Angora (German Type)" were purebred Germans, but they were
small, and could easily be confused with English Angoras. Instead of
training judges to determine the difference, ARBA asked Louise Walsh to
improve on the size and change the name. So, she bred in colored French
Lops and Flemish Giants and the resulting hybrids passed the ARBA
process.

Now ARBA does not judge genotype, or the actual genetic code of an
animal, it judge phenotype, or what the rabbit looks like. So, people
who did not have access to Louise's bloodlines went ahead and
registered purebred Germans who fit the standard as Giants. So yes,
Virginia, Germans have been registered as Giants practically from Day
One. And there wasn't a darn thing wrong with it. ARBA did not say Giants
had to have French Lop and Flemish Giant bloodlines in them, they just
had to fit the standard. If you have 3 generations of animals bred to
the ARBA standard for that breed, you can register them as such. So if
you start out with Germans, regardless if they are domestic or
imported, after you have 3 generations of animals that you (or others)
have bred to the Giant standard, you can register them as Giants.
Now Leslie and I had this conversation at Rhinebeck last Fall. We also
discussed my compromise on the tattoo method, and she understood
perfectly that:

1) I wanted it for the purpose of clarity on ARBA SHOW TABLES because
ARBA DOES NOT LOOK IN THE RIGHT EAR OF THE RABBIT. You can put an
IAGARB breeder number there, or SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALLIDOCIOUS,
they don't care.

2) I am using my Germans to improve my Giants. I have only ever
registered one Giant, and that was a doe I bought, and who had 2
registered Giant Angora parents. I am not interested in registering
Germans as Giants.

So this is why I was shocked to read what I did in the latest issue of
the IAGARB Newsletter. Mind you, I'd been warned about Leslie, but I
didn't think she had the cahunas to misrepresent my proposal so
blatantly. I wish I had had the finances to attend the annual meeting
and present my proposal myself, if I had, I think it would have gone
quite differently. The Standards Committee still might have reached the
same decision, but at least they would have reached it based on fact
and not fiction.

Now, about my goal to have the first Giant registered with IAGARB.
That's right, my goal is to have the first GIANT registered with
IAGARB, NOT to have the first GERMAN registered with ARBA. And Leslie
knows this, because I distinctly told her I have bought several
bona-fide Giants from several reputable breeders, Louise Walsh being
among them, and bred German into those lines, for the sole purpose of
deflecting any arguments that my Giants aren't truly Giants. But I
digress. I do indeed have purebred Germans, and they have been, so far,
my best performers on the show table and in the nestbox. But I believe
that will change VERY soon. I have some very promising GIANT babies,
some of which will be hitting the show tables this Fall. I have three
distinct bloodlines in my herd right now, one of them pure Giant, one
of them pure German, and one Giant/German hybrids. The Giant/German
hybrids will be registered as Giants as soon as the recognizable German
names are off the pedigree PER ARBA RULES. It is this bloodline from
which I hope to produce a Giant which passes IAGARB's stringent
registration test.

While I'm clarifying things, there is something else I addressed in
this blog once before, and I'll address it again just so there is no
confusion. Contrary to statement made to some people by someone I used
to think was a friend, I have NEVER, EVER falsified a pedigree, or sold
a Giant as a German, or sold a German as a Giant. I have always FULLY
DISCLOSED German heritage in my animals. Ask anyone who has bought
animals from me. There's quite a few, in fact if any of you who have
bought animals from me would chime in with comments, I'd really
appreciate it. Not only have I never falsified a pedigree, I've never
gotten into trouble for it, either, with ANYONE.

I have said in the past, and I'll say it again, if someone buys an
animal *I bred*, and they want to use that animal to improve their
Giants, yes I will, *if asked* provide a pedigree that says that animal
is a Giant Angora, even if the animal is a German or a German hybrid.
How can I do that and not be misrepresenting the animal? Simple,
remember where I referred to ARBA registration policy, "If you have 3
generations of animals bred to the ARBA standard for that breed, you
can register them as such". As long as that animal is bred to the ARBA
standard, I can do this AS LONG AS I FULLY DISCLOSE TO THE BUYER THE
ANIMALS THAT HAVE TO BE BRED OFF THE PEDIGREE before progeny can be
registered with ARBA.

Got that?

In addition, *if* I were to use the IAGARB method of tattooing, it
would not in any way prevent me from registering animals as Giants.
ARBA does not have any tattoo system except that a number unique to
that animal be in its left ear, ARBA doen not care what you put in the
right ear, as I said above. As long as there is room somewhere on that
right ear for them to tattoo the registration mark or number, that's
all they care about. So by making the decision they did, the IAGARB
Standards Committee accomplished nothing except to discourage people
who prefer to use the tattoo system they always have from trying to
register their rabbits with IAGARB. Not a very "inclusive" thing to do,
is it?

Now, why haven't I registered any Giants except the one noted above?
Because I keep finding fabulous Germans that I just can't live without,
and I keep using them to improve both my Giants and my Germans. Why do
I show Germans in ARBA shows as Giants? I keep showing my animals
because collecting those Grand Championship legs is proof positive that
I am breeding my animals to the Giant standard. If ARBA ever does
question the heritage of an animal I'm registering, all I have to do is
flash the leg certificates of the animal's ancestors.

Now you may say, but the standards of the 2 breeds are so different!
No, actually, they aren't. Here is a portion of a post I made some time ago about
this very subject:

One of the great things about going to Convention is the opportunity to
meet breeders from other parts of the country and the world. Talking
with Judy Le Marchant from England was informative and a blast! Judy
judges rare breeds over there, and is a very smart cookie. One thing
that really gets her going is the American way of posing rabbits. ARBA
sates clearly how commercial breeds of rabbits should be posed, yet
time after time I see judges smashing the poor things together to get
that round topline. In spite of the fact that most, if not all, of the
standards for these breeds specifically state there should be a
*slight* rise from shoulder to hip, the judges want to see a hemisphere
with ears. In order to get that, you need a rabbit with a longer back,
because you're bending to get that profile, not a shorter back like the
standards specify.

What's this got to do with Germans and Giants? I cannot tell you how
many times I have heard that while the breeds may be similar, " A good
Giant does not make a good German, and a good German does not make a
good Giant." Why? Because supposedly the body type is so different.
Poppycock!

First allow me to quote a small part of the Standard of Perfection for
Giant Angoras:

Body--Points 10: The body is to be of commercial type, with good width
and depth, tapering slightly from hindquarters to the shoulders. It is
to be well balanced throughout. The flesh is to be firm and smooth,
over a well nourished body.

Faults-- Rounded, cobby body.
Disqualification from competition-- Short coupled body

Now how does this differ from the IAGARB standard? The general
statement is as follows:

You should aim for a medium-sized rabbit of commercial type, with good
length/depth/width ratio, firm flesh and noticeable furnishings on
head, ears and feet.

A more detailed explanation follows:

The body is of medium length, cylindrical, of good depth and width for
balance.

Aahh... *cylindrical*. How do you judge this? You stretch the rabbit
out. I know this because I witnessed a German judging demonstration.
Ever see a Himilayan in a normal pose? They don't look cylindrical at
all until you stretch them. Neither does a German. Stretch a Giant out
like that, they look cylindrical, too.

As I stated on the germanangora list, the difference between the breeds
is not in the animals, it is in the standards for registration, and the
culture of the two groups. German breeders breed primarily for wool
production. They have very strict wool requirements for registration.
Giant breeders breed for wool, too, since more wool means better
showing, but they have very strict weight requirements to meet. Germans
don't. Everything else is pretty much the same.

Even IAGARB admits it cannot tell a Giant from a German. So if you
can't tell the difference, does the difference really exist? I don't
think so.

What do you think?

One final thought I want to leave you with, I am not posting this to disparage Leslie or IAGARB, I simply want people to know the truth of what went down and why. If you don't like what I've written, that's too bad, because it is all true, and I am not one to back down when someone twists my words into something they aren't. 'Nuff said. Please leave a comment. :)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

So IAGARB is inclusive, is it?

Once upon a time, I was delighted to see IAGARB, the International Association of German Angora Rabbit Breeders, adopt the German policy of allowing any angora, regardless of breed, into its registry, as long as that rabbit met their stringent registration requirements.

Well, nice words, but I have come to believe that's all they are. Case in point: their tattoo system. It was decided that in order to be registered with IAGARB, the rabbit had to be tattooed with the IAGARB system. Specifically, the breeder ID number in the right ear, and in the left ear the rabbit MUST be tattooed in the month/year/some-running-number sequence. So, a rabbit born on June, 2008 would be marked 6.8.whatever-the-breeder-wants.

Now obviously, it is highly unlikely that someone with a well-established tattoo system of their own is going to want to change. Additionally, since we folks who show in ARBA shows tend to breed for big shows like Convention, if we used this method there is a distinct possiblity of having more than one rabbit on the table with, say, 6.8.12 in its left ear. ARBA does not look in the rabbit's right ear, so the breeder ID number would be ignored.

With the desire to avoid possible mishaps like this, I submitted the following proposal to the IAGARB Standards Comittee:

---- Original Message -----
From: Janet Gruber
To: charbees@cox.net
Sent: Sunday, November 11, 2007 2:40 PM
Subject: tattooing

Hi Charlene,

I wanted to express my concern with the decision to only register rabbits tattooed with the IAGARB method. This seems exclusionary to me, although I doubt very much that it was meant to be. My reasoning is this: IAGARB has relaxed the registration requirements so that ANY animal that meets its stringent standards can be registered. However, most people who have other breeds of angora have their own tattoo system, as I do. I show in ARBA shows, it is excellent publicity, and fun! ARBA only looks at the rabbit's left ear. With the IAGARB method of tattooing, it is entirely possible that more than one rabbit on the table could have the same tattoo, since we tend to breed toward our annual Convention, so it's a distinct possibility of more than one rabbit having, say 8.3.4, in their left ear. ARBA does not look in the right ear, so the IAGARB breeder number is useless as a means of ID on the show table.

I do understand the necessity of the breeder # in the right ear. So, I would like to suggest a compromise. Keep the breeder number in the right ear as a requirement, but allow the breeder to use whatever method they wish in the left ear.

Right now, I use the same numbering system I always have, unless I have an un-tattooed bunny I'm selling to someone who is breeding exclusively towards the IAGARB standard, then I use the IAGARB method to tattoo that bunny, to make the new owner's life simpler should they wish to register the bunny in the future. Needless to say, that's a bit of a pain in the butt. :)
Additionally, there are some very heavy-coated French out there who *might* make registration, but their owners are not going to abandon their tattoo system they've always used.

I plan on sticking with my method, which is the year the bunny was born, then "JG" (which can mean Jan's Giants, Jan's Germans, or Janet Gruber), then a number representing that bunny's place in the breeding for the year, 7JG16, for instance. It has a kind of "brand-name" recognition that I do not wish to abandon. It would be a shame if I could not register any rabbits just because the left ear has a "JG" in it instead of a number. :(

If IAGARB were to adopt my compromise, it would be very simple for breeders to add their breeder number to the right ear, and everyone would be happy. :)

Thanks for your time, and I hope the Standards Committee will consider this.

Sincerely,

Janet Gruber

Well folks, somehow someone took my proposal and turned it into this:

"A formal proposal was sent to the
Standards Committee to change the
decision that was made at our last general
meeting (Michigan 2007) with regard to the
IAGARB tattooing procedures. The
petitioner requested that we make
allowances for those people who wish to
register their rabbits in both the ARBA and
IAGARB systems for acceptance."

This was further expounded upon that what was wanted specifically was to register Germans as Giants.

Um, EXCUSE ME!!!??? Where did I propose Germans be registered as Giants?

Phone calls were made, ARBA policy was quoted, the impression was given that Germans would be re-papered as Giants, and as a result, my actual request was obfuscated by this false allegation.

I cannot tell you all how disappointed I am at this obvious, deliberate subversion of my request. This certainly makes it appear as if some people in IAGARB wish to exclude people who show in ARBA shows. Why else my actual request be turned into something that it was not?

So naturally I bitched about it. Here is the response I got:

Dear Janet,

Over the years, we have received many questions regarding the practice of showing IAGARB Germans as ARBA Giants. We know that there are many opinions about this and that it is commonly done. Because this is an ARBA policy matter, we asked them.

Prompted by your proposal, Standards Committee member, Alexis Woodbury contacted ARBA secretary, Mr. Gehr. She reported that her conversation was quite long and detailed. Mr. Gehr said that ARBA judges are only able to evaluate phenotype. Therefore, if a rabbit fits the standard, then it will be judged accordingly.

According to Mr. Gehr, ARBA registration does present a problem, as it would require pedigree information indicating that the animals have Giant backgrounds. In order for rabbits out of imported German stock to present pedigrees that would satisfy ARBA registration, they would need to be repapered as Giants. That would constitute misrepresentation.

Please recall that it was the ARBA’s decision to refuse the German Angora and its standard. The ARBA declared the Giant Angora a separate breed from the German.

To address your specific question – would IAGARB reverse, or allow exceptions to, its decision to require all rabbits tested for registration to have the breeder’s number permanently tattooed in the right ear and the rabbit’s number in the left ear? After significant discussion, the committee agreed unanimously that it is important to keep the IAGARB registration system consistent. This was our original reason for establishing the tattoo requirement at the Annual Meeting in 2007.

If we adjust our tattooing requirements in response to your proposal then IAGARB will have acted with the intention to accommodate the possibility of misrepresentation with another organization’s registration system.

We are aware that you have a goal of double registration of the same animal in both IAGARB and ARBA systems. As the rules stand, your objective is not possible. Even if we relaxed our tattoo rules, the ARBA would not accept fully disclosed German Angora pedigrees for their Giant Angora registry.

We would like to thank you for provoking much useful discussion and look forward to your continued and valued participation in IAGARB.

Sincerely,

Charlene Schultz, Standards Committee Chairperson

Leslie Samson, President


Isn't it convenient that they totally ignore that I NEVER proposed this issue of Germans being registered as Giants!

But just for the record, *IF* I have a Giant Angora (or French, or English, or Satin) tattooed with the IAGARB method, I can certainly still register said animal with ARBA. AND *IF* said animal passes the IAGARB registration process, I certainly CAN have one animal registered in both systems, and I won't be breaking any rules.

But that isn't the point. The point is, my proposal was deliberately misrepresented, in order to make sure it wasn't accepted.

SHAME ON YOU.

I have no problem with the decision. I have a problem with how it was influenced.

And as for the sake of consistency, that is a solution looking for a problem.

PS - I think IAGARB should be encouraging the diverse interests of its ENTIRE membership, and the versatility of the animals we all love. I don't think an animal should be relegated to a non-registration wool test because of a number in its ear. What's a non-registration wool test worth? The paper it's written on? *I* certainly am not going to go through all the considerable hassle of getting the rabbit certified as shorn on a certain day, then travel to a certification event 90 days later only to have my rabbit pass, but not be worthy of registration simply because I don't use the number IAGARB wants me to use in the left ear.