Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Will Britain Fight?

The rules and constitution of the Jack Russell Terrier Club of Great Britain could not be clearer. 

The Club was created:

  • To promote and preserve the true working terrier known as The Jack Russell.

  • To write and apply a breed standard.

  • To oppose influence by any organisation or persons whose actions may result in practices considered to be detrimental to the Jack Russell Terrier and its future.

  • To protect the Jack Russell Terrier as a true working terrier and to preserve the rights of the working terrier enthusiast to work the terrier in the traditional manner.

  • To encourage lawful and humane terrier work and to educate newcomers to the world of the working terrier.

  • History has shown Kennel Club recognition to be detrimental to the physical structure and working capabilities of a variety of working breeds. Therefore this club is opposed to Kennel Club recognition of the Jack Russell Terrier.

Now the Kennel Club has unilaterally added the Jack Russell Terrier to its role -- a dog that Dog World informs us was created in "Autralasia where it was developed as a show dog".

So what is the Jack Russell Terrier Club of Great Britain's response?  Are they going to stand and fight... or raise the white flag?

So far there has only been silence. 
Perhaps that's due to prudence as they marshal forces and weapons.  Still, what are we to make of the most vocal defense coming from the Duchess of Cornwall's son, Tom Parker Bowles, who named his own son after Camilla's old Jack Russell Terrier, Freddy
I like them as outsiders and mongrels. They're charming rogues and scallywags, not dull showdogs that have to fit into some Kennel Club standard. Jack Russells are at their happiest down holes, chasing rabbits rather than poncing about like those ghastly popinjay showdogs. Keep them out of the ring.
Well yes

And let's not let them be "sourced" to Australia and New Guinea, eh? 

But that's what's going to happen unless a serious stink is put up.

o far the Jack Russell Terrier Club of Great Britain seems to be cloud-hidden, whereabouts unknown when it comes to this battle.

Certainly no battle horn has been sounded.

And perhaps it does not need to be. 

Perhaps these clubs are as pointless as some say.

What good are they if they do not live up to their core mission statement? We certainly do not need them to hunt our dogs, do we? Nor do we need the Kennel Club to tell us what a good working dog looks like, nor do we need people to give us just-invented breed histories.

So is the purpose of these Clubs to simply give people titles, collect dues, and select dog show judges?  Or is their mission -- and their fight -- to preserve the dog, the tradition, the work, and the name?

If it's the latter, then the Jack Russell Terrier Club of Great Britain is going to have to saddle up and ride. So far, they have not entered the field.


firespinguy said...

Is there actually anything they can do to stop Kennel Club recognition in Britain? The KC is not doing anything illegal, and it's not like the JRT club in Britain have a trademark like the JRTCA in the USA. Seems to me at best they can just continue to promote breeding working Jack Russell Terriers. In a couple of years there will be a split between show and working JRTs in Britain just like you see in show and working German Shepherds and Border Collies.

PBurns said...

We shall see. If the UK breed club assumes this stance, then nothing can be done because nothing will have been tried. It will be a "bungle at first bugle." One thing is for sure -- there will be no waiting for the Americans to sort it out this time. The British will have to fight for themselves, and for their own heritage. But will they?

Yes, the JRTCA has a trademark, and that's where you start. The term has meaning and it is a term of art. The American JRTCA has more Jack Russells than any other registry in the world, and the term "Jack Russell Terrier" is an understood and legally accepted term of art for commercial and advertising purposes.

The UK has labeling laws, same as everywhere else, and you cannot sell a pear as an apple or a "Remington" shogun as a "Winchester," nor can you claim your sparking wine made in Yorkshire is "champagne" nor can you call your coffee house "Starbucks," and never mind if that's the character in an old American novel about whaling.

No, I think the question comes down to the question that I ask: Will the British fight? There are many ways to fight, but not every nation is famous for its fighters.

The Irish will fight. The Kurds will fight. The Americans will fight.

But will the British?

One has the sense that a lot of Brits think it is beneath them. For over 200 years they have been losing empire, and what's the Jack Russell, but one more loss?

If this sounds like a challenge, it's meant to me. Some things are worth fighting for. The JRTCGB said what it stood for. Now will it?