At the December 2016 meeting of the Federal Council of the Kennel Union of Southern Africa (Fedco), two members of Fedco, vested with the necessary executive powers, were tasked to open negotiations with the Federation of Boxer Clubs of South Africa (FBCSA). This resulted in a series of meetings which commenced in January 2017 and, seven months later, are still ongoing. At the most recent meeting on 12 August 2017, it was decided by the parties that this might be an appropriate time to provide their respective constituents with a progress report.
Fedco is pleased to report that all the meetings between the representatives of the two organisations took place in a spirit of unfaltering cooperation and in an atmosphere of the utmost goodwill. The guiding objective, identified by both parties from the outset, was to reach consensus on the establishment of a secure, stable and homogeneous milieu in which the Boxer breed could flourish and prosper in future.
The fundamental territorial parameters were acknowledged and accepted, i.e. that the FBCSA remains the registered Breeders’ Society for Boxers under the Animal Improvement Act (AIA), while KUSA enjoyed the status of a Registering Authority under the same Act for 218 breeds, Boxers excluded. For KUSA, it was important to procure an enabling environment for the registration of KUSA members’ Boxers, whereas the FBCSA saw the merit in having the South African Boxer under one umbrella both locally and internationally.
As negotiations progressed, both parties realised that, in achieving some form of equality for Boxers, considerable challenges were presented by the organisations’ diverse constitutions, membership frameworks and fee structures. There was, however, a stubborn resolve from both sides to not permit impediments to derail a necessary and long overdue process. Where it is about finding often elusive middle ground, there are bound to be compromises, but those need to be assessed in the perspective of the bigger picture.
It is against this background that we beg our KUSA Boxer members’ indulgence and patience for a little longer. Fedco is aware that the situation at present is proving somewhat frustrating to SABOX, the KUSA-affiliated Boxer clubs and all those associated with the Boxer breed. We do, however, count on your forbearance as we try to deal with issues that are not only sensitive, but also extremely complicated.
We expect negotiations to conclude during the first quarter of 2018 and, during the intervening months, Fedco appeals to KUSA’s Boxer members for their restraint and support. Please afford the Fedco negotiating team the latitude and time to negotiate a solution with broad palatability.
We also implore the KUSA Boxer fraternity to understand that, although the Fedco members charged with the negotiating responsibility do not own Boxers, they are fully mandated to represent Fedco on an executive level. Please also understand that the Fedco members’ pursuit of breed parity for Boxers in South Africa, a status enjoyed by all other breeds on the KUSA register, does not involve negotiating on breed-specific issues. Breed-specific requirements have been, and will always be, the preserve of Boxer breed specialists, to be resumed upon conclusion of these negotiations.
Pending a hopefully favourable outcome of the negotiations, KUSA encourages its members to continue sending their Boxer registrations through to KUSA. As KUSA has done for the past number of months, these will be recorded without issuing Registration Certificates.
All KUSA Boxers are, at present, being issued with a Special Show Clearance Certificate (SSCC) to enable them to be exhibited at KUSA-licensed shows. Although the SSCC has a validity of 12 months, Fedco had, in principle, decided to extend the validity of these certificates until negotiations with the FBCSA have been concluded.
It should stand to reason that KUSA would also like to see an end to these interim measures applicable to Boxers but, for the moment, has to take comfort in the knowledge that the Fedco negotiating team is working as fast and as skilfully as circumstances permit.