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NAIA CONTROVERSY


re: board members representing Pet Industry, Marshall Meyers and Michael Twain ****************************************** From: "Martin Deeley" Subject: NAIA ----------- Some of you will know that the IACP have very close relationships with the NAIA and I personally with Patti Strand and Steve Lindsay both of whom have my utmost respect. The NAIA has proven itself to be the brave voice of common sense in a world where activists are influencing through fear and coersion. I have just received the following letters from Patti who has allowed me to post them to this list. They explain more about NAIA and also the rescue groups. It is a long mail but I trust you will find the time to read it and also forward the truth to other groups that are being fed incorrect and defamatory information. This information from AR groups and supporters comes to the front when they see their influence slipping. When they see the nucleus of their power being undermined. When they feel thrreatened and see that other organizations will do a better job because they do it right. Divide and rule, condemn others with slight implications and sometimes outright untruths. This is the way of AR. ********************************* Please read these letters and make your own mind up. ***************************** Martin Deeley Executive Director IACP www.dogpro.org City Dawgs www.citydawgs.com ********************************** >From Patti----------------- I'm including several items to give you a picture of the situation. The first is a letter to someone asking about our group and its composition; the next is a semi response I started to someone else and the third is a post from a person in the Pennsylvania Federation and finally the opening page for what will be the rescue site on our website. ////////// I had hoped that our site http://www.naiaonline.org spelled out our positions clearly. We are for animal welfare and we oppose the extreme agenda of the animal rights movement which opposes all use of animals no matter how humane or how responsible. We also oppose it because many of its leaders refuse to condemn violence committed on behalf of their cause. See: http://www.naiaonline.org/body/articles/archives/arterror.htm ***************************** In this regard we stand with the overwhelming majority of thinking Americans and with the recognized experts on animal husbandry and care. So long as more than 90% of Americans eat meat, there will be a need for animal welfare organizations. To call for the end of slaughterhouses, for instance, when most Americans eat meat would be a good fundraiser for the "conflict industry" groups that make their living that way, but it would do little to improve the welfare of animals found in those settings. **************************** Therefore, when we advocate positions regarding any animal relationship or enterprise we are doing so based on the animals needs, not on who has the animals. The latter is a job for activists. We are not an activist group, but an educational one that promotes more humane conditions, the identification and elimination of unnecessary use, and the closure of facilities that can not come up to standards that have been deemed appropriate for that industry. For example, in the case of commercial dog breeding we have advocated that the USDA should close the loophole on commercial kennels that avoid inspection now because they don't sell to pet stores but sell large numbers of dogs across state lines via the Internet and magazines to consumers who don't have an opportunity to see where their puppy was bred. Currently only facilities that sell to pet stores are regulated under the AWA. Our data suggests that the kennels most likely to have atrocious problems today are the large commercial kennels that have no federal oversight. If the states where such kennels are situated don't have strong inspection programs, and few do, those kennels avoid monitoring altogether. There are more and more kennels selling to people across state lines from Internet sites. Many are puppy mills (sub standard kennels) that harm consumers and that do not care appropriately for the welfare of their animals. ********************************* The difference between our approach as an animal welfare group and the approach of animal rights groups is that we do not work to eliminate all commercial breeding, only those that can not or will not come up to the standards set by the Federal AWA. We also work to improve standards of care in existing kennels. We focus on improving the welfare of the animals wherever they are found, not just in certain pre agreed upon settings. *************************** We are engaged in task force bodies, advisory boards and a host of other settings where public policy about animal issues is drafted. In cases where we can shape policy, we advocate for animal welfare improvements *********************************** that make sense from a scientific standpoint. For example, there is a huge body of knowledge that has emerged about puppy socialization and training that has not yet made it into county, state and federal ordinances, rules. regs and laws. We compile and provide such information and then promote its application into public policy. **************************** I hope I've helped you understand who we are. We are proud that we are not a monolithic group that demands everyone to share a single point of view and mindset. Tolerance for opposing points of view is lacking in much of the animal welfare movement today. Our members have robust disagreements with each other. We think that is healthy. After all, even husbands and wives don't have identical values and ethics. Our membership includes vegetarians who perform animal research; hobby breeders who oppose commercial breeding; farmers who oppose biomedical research and hunters who oppose large scale livestock production. *************************** Our country was founded on the premise that all people have a right to practice their own beliefs unless in so-doing they harm another person's rights to do the same. When society as a whole decides that a particular practice (breeding dogs for instance) should be outlawed, that agreement takes precedence over individual rights. Today in the US, commercial dog breeding is regulated but not prohibited. Our group has an interest in improving the regulations by lending our expertise to the creation of more appropriate and humane standards. While we freely and proudly admit we are not of the abolitionists school of animal rights, our members agree that there is need to conserve wildlife and improve the welfare of animals. We haven't all agreed up front on the exact methods that should or should not be used to achieve this mission except to the extent that we think life in a free society demands that debate on such issues should be conducted honestly and that behavior should be civil as well as legal. ********************************* Thank you for inquiring. I hope we can work together in the future. If not, we wish you well in all your pursuits. Patti ////////////////////////// The pet industry is the group that represents manufacturers of products for the pet trade, dog food companies and commercial breeders. They have been part of our board from the beginning. We have learned a lot from them and they have been extremely helpful. Contrary to the assumptions put forth by some, the only legislation NAIA has worked on where the pet industry was directly involved was a consumer bill to protect the public from bad commercial kennels! It was in Pennsylvania. She also mentions a bill by the Oregon Pet Industry as though NAIA was involved when in fact NAIA never endorsed it. That's a matter of public record. In another denigrating post she claims that we are plotting with the pet industry to do nefarious things with rescue dogs. That claim is so outlandish and false it doesn't deserve an answer. It appears she is simply coming up with be the worst horrors she can imagine and suggesting that we're guilty ...or might be guilty at some time in the future. ********************************* We are an animal welfare organization meaning that we work to improve the welfare of animals in places where they currently exist. Where we differ from the animal rights groups and their perspective is that we do not campaign to ban whole categories of industries like commercial breeders, Instead, we provide the expertise to improve standards of care and to achieve science based regulations that actually improve how animals are cared for. ************************************ Her primary complaint against us is that we don't protest or picket or work to denigrate people and industries she doesn't like. We don't operate that way, but instead, like most mainstream groups have operated throughout US history by working with all parties that are involved in a given issue. In NAIA we have had the audacity to create the kind of group that existed prior to the advent of the animal rights movement and the kind that is appropriate to a free society. ******************************** They helped us pass legislation in Pennsylvania that gave puppy buyers the right to get their money pack from disreputable puppy brokers. They believe in humane animal use, not animal abuse. If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem. ****************** Nina Schaefer Corresponding Secretary Delaware Valley Siberian Husky Rescue http://www.siberianhuskyrescue.org/ FX: 215 947 2172 ///////////////////////////////// Here's a page for what will be a new section on our home page ************************ Rescue in Cyberspace Welcome to the NAIA online rescue symposium ************************************ In March 1995, NAIA brought several dozen dog rescue advocates together in Clarksville, Indiana, for the country's first national rescue conference. This symposium featured speakers who discussed a range of topics from rescue-and-shelter partnerships and rescue dog behavior to the legal aspects of rescue and AKC participation in the process. The day also provided plenty of opportunities for rescuers to meet each other and set up networks in the region. *********************************** This was the first of four such meetings in different parts of the country dealing primarily with purebred dog rescue. Topics covered over the years included writing contracts; dealing with burnout, fund-raising; training strategies for rescue dogs; nutrition for dogs under stress; partnerships between rescues, shelters, and training clubs; veterinarians and rescue; fundraising; screening foster homes and prospective adopters; finding homes for older dogs; and more. Speakers included shelter workers, dog breeders, independent rescuers, veterinarians, national breed rescue coordinators, dog trainers, and more. ******************************** NAIA's online rescue symposium picks up where the real-world meetings left off. Here we offer the best such conferences have to offer: a growing series of features about the nuts and bolts of rescue and an opportunity to network with rescuers in every state of the US. Travel to these virtual rescue conferences is done at your leisure with the click of a mouse -- no plane tickets, long drives, or hotels are necessary. ******************************** This virtual symposium has another big advantage over real-world meetings: it allows us to expand networking opportunities to every species through state rescue lists. Although the bulk of messages will likely deal with dogs and cats, if you have a horse that needs a new home; if you rescue pocket pets or birds; if you provide foster homes for surrendered pot bellied pigs; if you can help transport any animal to a new home; if you want to spread the word about particular animals needing rescue from shelters, this is the place to be. ************************ Rescue features: Check out NAIA rescue columns by Chow Chow rescue chairman Vicki DeGruy ************************* These lists are designed for ********************************* 1. ANYONE who rescues animals to post information about animals that need homes.**************** 2. ANYONE who needs to find a home for an animal (there are restrictions, this is NOT a "for sale" list.) Owners may post animals they can no longer keep for whatever reason.************** 3. ANYONE interested in ADOPTING a rescue, or in obtaining an animal directly from an owner who can no longer keep it, may post that they are looking to adopt.************** 4. ANYONE who has lost, is missing, or who has had an animal stolen may post information about that animal.************* 5. ANYONE who is seeking transport for a rescue to post info about the proposed trip for the purpose of finding volunteers in each state for various legs of the said trip. And for anyone willing to transport to post their willingness to do so.**************** 6. THIS LIST IS AN ALL SPECIES RESCUE LIST. Any species of animal, including all breeds, mixes, etc., are accepted on the list.********************* 7. While anyone can post to the list, only subscribers will receive mail from the list.***************************** These are lists devoted to the welfare of animals that need new homes. No political posts, litter advertisements, or other off-topic messages will be permitted. ////////////////////// This is from our newsletter editor Joann, ************************ It has come to my attention that you forwarded a message from someone who questions the NAIA connection with various state rescue mailing lists. I have been a member of NAIA since 1994, so I can give you the other side of the story to pass along as well. ---------------- NAIA is a coalition of all animal interests with a two-fold purpose: to improve the welfare of animals and to oppose the animal rights agenda to eliminate human contact with animals. The NAIA association with rescue dates to the founding of the organization more than 10 years ago. Some of the board members and many of the members are actively involved in hands-on rescue efforts. NAIA's president started a rescue network in her state long before such networks were common. ********************** NAIA hosted the first national animal rescue conference in 1995 in Clarksville, IN, followed by additional rescue conferences for three more years in different parts of the country. Dozens of rescue advocates attended each event to hear speakers on a wide range of topics from contracts and burnout to fundraising, behavior, training, placing older dogs, and much more. They also had the opportunity to meet among themselves and share problems and successes. ******************************* NAIA News and the NAIA website feature rescue columns by a national breed club rescue coordinator. The organization also supported efforts to increase USDA jurisdiction over commercial kennels, raised money for an animal shelter in the Northwest, established a nationwide campaign against breed specific legislation, and helps local groups fight against bsl and other unreasonable attempts to limit dog ownership. The details are contained in more than 200 articles on the NAIA website. ***************************** The idea that NAIA is a tool of commercial kennel operators is ludicrous.There are two members of the pet industry on the 20-plus-member board, but there are also two people on the board who have hands-on rescue experience dating back several years along with a behaviorist, a dog trainer, and three veterinarians, all working to improve animal welfare and the human-animal bond. *********************************** After attending all but one of NAIA's several animal welfare conferences since 1995 and getting to know many of the people on the board and in the general membership, I can state unequivocally that the state rescue lists are simply what they appear to be -- 50 opportunities for people within states and regions to network to save animals. Whether people want to join the lists or not is an individual decision, but one that should be based on all the facts, not on out-of-context bits and pieces mixed with innuendo, wild allegations, and great leaps to faulty conclusions. If the presence of two pet industry businessmen on NAIA's board negates all the good work NAIA has done for rescue in anyone's eyes, he is certainly free to go somewhere else. But if the animals matter most, these lists are a good place to post when looking for foster homes, permanent homes, transportation, and other rescue help. ************* Norma Bennett Woolf Norma Bennett Woolf, editor, NAIA News @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ to return to AR_vs_AW page go to: http://www.sover.net/~lsudlow/ARvsAW.htm