KUSA Protocol for Adopting Breed Standards

Posted in KUSA Breed Standards



Introduction & Brief History:

When the 1975 version of the KUSA Constitution was approved by Fedco, the breeds recognised were those recognised by The Royal Kennel Club (RKC) in the UK, regardless of whether there had ever been specimens of a particular breed registered or exhibited in the KUSA area of jurisdiction. The Breed Standards adopted by KUSA for the breeds in question were also those of the RKC.

In 1985, Fedco resolved that, should a new breed be imported into the country, the Breed Standard adopted by KUSA for that breed would be that of the country of origin, development, or patronage. At that time, KUSA was also receiving regular requests from Clubs and breeders involved with breeds which were not of UK origin, to replace their RKC Breed Standards with (mainly) those of the FCI. It was decided by Fedco that, should the majority of breeders and/or owners petition for it, that the current RKC Breed Standard could be replaced by another identified Breed Standard. In consequence, the enthusiasts of a few breeds opted to replace their RKC Breed Standards with either the country-of-origin Breed Standard, e.g. the Irish Kennel Club Breed Standard was adopted for the Irish Wolfhound, or an FCI Breed Standard, which is based on the country-of-origin Breed Standard.

This modus operandum left many of the “recognised” breeds as listed in Schedule 02 Appendix “A” in limbo as they had either not previously been registered with KUSA, or had been registered in the very distant past. To wipe the slate clean, in 1995, Fedco decided that all the breeds listed in Schedule 02 Appendix “A”, which had either never been registered, or had not been registered in the preceding ten years, should be deleted. These breeds would then be “re-admitted” as recognised breeds should specimens be imported, at which time the Breed Standard of the country of origin, development or patronage would be adopted for them.

At Fedco 06-2015, it was agreed that all KUSA Breed Standards should be introduced by the following guideline:

A Breed Standard is the guideline that describes the ideal characteristics, temperament, and appearance of a breed, and ensures that the breed is fit for function, with soundness essential. Breeders and Judges should, at all times, be mindful of features that could be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare, or soundness of this breed.

At Fedco 12-2017, it was further agreed that the citation [*refer note below] should appear in square brackets at the end of the tail clause of all docked and/or formerly docked breeds, referring to the following footnote:

Regardless of the provisions of the current KUSA-adopted standard, docked or formerly docked breeds may be shown at all FCI- and KUSA-licensed shows in South Africa, whether their tails are docked, or natural. Under no circumstances are judges permitted to discriminate against exhibits on the grounds of docked, or natural, tails and equal consideration for awards must be given to either.

Breed Standards Committee:

At Fedco 12-2018, it was approved that a Breed Standards Committee (BSC) should be appointed to oversee matters related to Breed Standards. It was agreed that the BSC should comprise a minimum of three Fedco members and be responsible for the recommendation and implementation of

  • Alterations and amendments to adopted Breed Standards;

· Adoption of Breed Standards for breeds not previously recognised by KUSA; and

· Substitution of Breed Standards, upon application and plausible justification.

At Fedco 12-2023, it was decided to reduce the number of Fedco members of the BSC to two (2), with any disagreement between them to be referred to the Federal Council for a final decision by simple majority.

Currently adopted Breed Standards:

All currently adopted Breed Standards remain in force until such time as application is made, with plausible justification, to change the Breed Standard to the Breed Standard of the country of origin, development or patronage, or to the FCI Breed Standard for that breed. These Breed Standards include:

  • All currently adopted Breed Standards of RKC

· All currently adopted Breed Standards of the American Kennel Club, the Canadian Kennel Club, or any other Kennel Club recognised as the country of origin, or development, for the breed in question.

Note: KUSA will never unilaterally amend or alter a Breed Standard originating from a National Canine Organisation deemed to be the breed’s country of origin or country of development.

Amendments to Breed Standards:

KUSA automatically accepts all Breed Standard amendments received from:

  • The FCI,
  • The RKC, or the
  • National Canine Organisation, which is the country of origin, country of patronage or country of development of the breed in question,

except in exceptional circumstances, such as amendments contravening KUSA Regulations or Policies, or national legislation.

The only Breed Standards that KUSA can unilaterally amend are Breed Standards originating from South Africa for its native breeds.

Instances of incomprehensibility:

If a statement in a Breed Standard is deemed to be ambiguous, nebulous or unusual, KUSA reserves the right to add an explanatory or clarificatory note in [square brackets] after the statement, without making any amendment to the original text.

Breed Standards for newly admitted breeds:

Following the recognition, by Exco, of a breed not already listed in Schedule 02 Appendix “A” as required under Schedule 02 Regulation 17, it will fall to the Breed Standards Committee to recommend to Fedco which Breed Standard should be adopted for that breed and to which of the seven (7) Breed Groups it shall be allocated.

In the event of there being no acceptable Breed Standard in English, the Breed may be recognised, but dogs of that breed will not be eligible to enter any KUSA Breed Shows until an acceptable Breed Standard in English has been published by the country of origin, or the FCI.

Single Breeds with multiple varieties:

Where a single Breed Standard has been adopted for breeds with multiple varieties, distinguished by coat type and/or size, the breed shall be listed in Schedule 02 Appendix “A” with its number of varieties in brackets, e.g. German Shepherd Dog (2 varieties). A single Breed Standard will also be displayed on the KUSA website for breeds with multiple varieties, although the varieties are separated out for the classification of Breed Show Classes and Challenge Certificate awards.

Procedure to change to a different Breed Standard:

An application to adopt a different Breed Standard may be put forward to KUSA by one of the following:

  • The Breed or Liaison Council for that Breed;

· A Specialist Breed Club, Specialist Multi-breed Club, or Group Club for that Breed; or

· A Member in Good Standing* of KUSA, who has dogs of the breed in his registered ownership at the time of application.
A current paid-up Member of KUSA who is not under suspension, or Life Member of KUSA

When the KUSA receives a request from a Club or Member to convert an adopted Breed Standard into another version of the Breed Standard, the following procedure would apply:

1. The KUSA Breed Standards Committee will assess the application and either proceed with the conversion process if the application is appropriately justified, or reject it.

2. If the decision is to proceed with the conversion process, the KUSA Secretary will be required to prepare Survey/Referendum documentation for circulation to Breeders and Owners.

3. The Survey/Referendum documentation must include:

3.1. Complete details of the applicant and the motivation for converting to another Breed Standard;

3.2. A copy of the current adopted Breed Standard including details of its origin – clearly marked as the Current Breed Standard;

3.3. A copy of the proposed new Breed Standard including details of its origin – clearly marked as the Proposed New Breed Standard ;

3.4. A Ballot Paper;

3.5. The final date by which the Ballot Paper must be lodged with the KUSA Office.

4. The Ballot Paper must include the following:

4.1. A clear explanation of the Breed Standard being considered;

4.2. A place clearly marked to vote for, or against, the proposed conversion;

4.3. A declaration that the person voting is a Member in Good Standing of KUSA and breeds, or has bred, or owned, the breed concerned.

4.4. Space for:

4.4.1. Member’s name

4.4.2. Member’s KUSA Membership Number

4.4.3. Member’s Identity Number

4.4.4. Member’s Signature

4.4.5. Date Ballot Paper is signed

4.4.6. Date the Survey Form was submitted to the Secretary

5. The Secretary will submit a draft of the Survey/Referendum Form and Ballot Paper to the BSC for approval prior to circulation to Members.

6. Once approved, the Secretary will distribute the Survey/Referendum documentation by email or, where no email address is available, by courier service, if requested and pre-paid by the Breeders/Owners to Breeders and Owners of dogs of that breed registered in the last seven years , provided they are Members in Good Standing of KUSA.

7. Verification of the qualification of a Member to cast a ballot and the counting of votes will be carried out by senior staff members in the KUSA Office. No correspondence will be entered into regarding the result.

8. The result will be determined by simple majority of valid votes cast and the outcome of the ballot will be published on the KUSA website and tabled at the next meeting of the Federal Council for ratification.

9. The result of the ballot will become effective on either 1 January or 1 July, whichever date will allow a minimum of six (6) months’ notice of the conversion of the Breed Standard to Judges and Members.

Procedure if the Survey/Referendum is non-viable:

Should a reasonable number of Owners and Breeders not meet the criteria for a credible referendum to take place, or for other reasons of impracticability, the BSC shall be entitled to consider the merits of the application and, if the switch to a different Breed Standard is found to be justified, recommend to Fedco that the proposed new Breed Standard be adopted without a referendum being conducted.

Effective Dates of new or amended Breed Standards accepted by KUSA under this Protocol:

New or amended Breed Standards confirmed by Fedco under this Protocol at its June Ordinary Meeting, shall become effective on 1 July of the same year, whereas new or amended Breed Standards confirmed by Fedco under this Protocol at its December Ordinary Meeting, shall become effective on 1 January of the following year.

Updated: 04.01.2024