Minutes of the June 2004 Breed Council Meeting
The Persian Breed Council met on Saturday, June 26, 2004. It was a breakfast meeting with about 40 people present. Mark Hannon opened the meeting by expressing sorrow over the recent death of our Breed Council Secretary, Anna Sadler. He announced that President Don Williams had appointed him to serve as the BC Secretary for the remainder of Anna's term which ends in January, 2005.
The deadline for joining the Breed Council is August 1, 2004. The deadline for declaring for Breed Council Secretary is also August 1, 2004. Mark announced that anyone interested in submitting a proposal for this year's poll should send them to him. The ballot must be submitted to CFA's Central Office by September 1, 2004, so any proposals should be received by Mark at least several weeks prior to that so there is time to review them and make any changes before submitting them to CFA. Mark asked if anyone had any proposals that they'd like to discuss.
Candy Kiiskila mentioned the desire to permit darkening body shading on the lynx point Himalayans and a lively discussion followed. A group of Himalayan breeders planned to meet after the BC meeting to further discuss this proposal.
Tracy Petty suggested that since points are allotted in the Standard for Balance and Refinement, they should be described in the Standard. While the Preface which applies to all breeds does discuss Balance, it was the consensus that it would be beneficial to discuss Refinement in the Standard. Mark said he would appoint a committee to draft something, likely not in time for this year's ballot but for the following year. Since Betty White has written on this subject, he will ask her to provide input.
Linda Berg was a guest speaker at our meeting. Linda is the chair of the CFA Animal Welfare committee and she discussed purebred rescue efforts, what her committee does, what we can do to help, etc. Linda asked us to deal with Linda Mercer when we learn of a problem, and to provide offers of assistance through Dr. Mercer as well rather than contact shelters to offer assistance. Shelters react better to offers from groups such as the Huckleberry Foundation rather than to individual offers of help. Linda also mentioned that monetary offers of help are always welcome and she has a PayPal account which can be used to quickly transfer funds to her committee for assistance.
Dr. Leslie Lyons was another guest speaker at our meeting. Dr. Lyons works at the University of California at Davis and has been working on a test for PKD that identifies the gene that causes this disease. Her work has been funded in part by the Winn Foundation as well as by Waltham Foods. The new test developed by Dr. Lyons will be available to the public by the end of July. It has higher accuracy than the ultrasound tests we've been using. The test will be made via a swab and run by a commercial laboratory (Vet Genetics Laboratory). Fees are not finalized but will likely be in the area of $50 per cat, with discounts available for bulk testing. A DNA finger print will come with each cat so there will be no doubt which cat has been tested. Dr. Lyons mentioned that today 40% of Persians/Exotics have PKD. She emphasized that this is just one negative factor and cats should not be removed from a breeding program due to testing positive if they have something to offer a breeding program. Dr. Lyons discussed briefly some of her other testing, such as being able to identify which cats carry the pointed gene as well as several other genes of interest to cat breeders.