Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of The International Union for Leonberger Dogs.
Held on September 25th Hotel Kirchner, Leonberg, Germany.

 

Member Clubs represented
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, The Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, USA, Victoria (Australia.)

Not Represented
Hungary, Norway, Slovak Republic.

The Chairman for the Meeting was Gerhard Zerle.
Minutes were taken by Hein Sibrijns.

Introduction

Herr Zerle opened the meeting and welcomed those present. He expressed pleasure that so many member countries were represented.
The previous Secretary, Matthias Ring, was unable to attend the meeting and Hein Sibrijns offered to take the minutes.
Geeske Joel, who had translated from German to English at previous meetings, did not want to attend this meeting.
Herr Zerle and Hein Sibrijns agreed to translate.

Special Problems of the Member Clubs

The Club with the biggest problem is The Leonberger Club of America. (LCA),.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) does notyet recognise the Leonberger breed.
Another Club, The Leonberger Club of The United States, (LCUS) has applied to the AKC for recognition of the breed and parent club status.
The LCUS was formed by some members of the LCA. Neither the LCA nor the LCUS object to their members being a member of both clubs.
According to the statutes of The Union, only the "parent club" to the AKC can be a member of The Union. If the LCA is not the parent club at the time the AKC grants recognition to the Leonberger breed, the LCA will not be a member of the International Union.
At the end of October 2004, the LCA members will vote on whether to apply for parent club status. The president of the LCA, Beth O’Connor, is in favour of application. She reported that the LCA will lose members whichever way the vote goes.
It was stressed again that, after the breed has been fully recognised by the AKC, only the AKC parent Club can be the member for the USA Union.
The Union will support the LCA, when they decide to apply for full AKC recognition and parent club status.
However the relationship between the two Leonberger clubs in the USA, and the decision whether or not to apply for AKC affiliation, is a national American issue. The Union will maintain the status quo with the LCA being the Union member for the USA, until there is a decision from the AKC.

Austria reported that they have a breeding problem. Two out of three matings are unsuccessful. Denmark also reported the same problem.
In Germany the percentage of unsuccessful matings is estimated at 30%.
It was suggested that research should start in these countries, to find out why so many matings are unsuccessful.

The senior Mayor of Leonberg arrived to welcome the delegates and to speak about the assets of his town.
He presented a model of the statue of a .Leonberger, sponsored by Eukanuba (Procter and Gamble),   that will be placed on a prominent place in the town.
Eventually small replicas can be reproduced and sent all over the world as a symbol for the town and the breed.

Election of Committee Members

The French delegation reported that they could not participate in the voting.
The French Club had submitted a proposal to change the statutes.
The Committee of the French Club does not consider itself to be a member of the Union, so long as the statutes have not been changed.
It was emphasised that the statutes had been accepted unanimously by all members in 2003 and delegates of the French Club had signed the new statutes.
It was agreed that a proposal for the change to the approved statutes, could be debated after members of the board had been duly elected.

It was proposed that Herr Georg Leipelt oversee the elections.

President. Guido Perosino proposed Mr. Gerhard Zerle. Unanimously elected.
France abstained.
Vice President. Gerhard Zerle proposed Dr. Guido Perosino. Unanimously elected.
France and Italy abstained.
Treasurer. Hein Sibrijns proposed Mr. Peter Cejnek. Unanimously elected.
France and Austria abstained.
Secretary. Guido Perosino proposed Mr. Hein Sibrijns. Unanimously elected.
France and Netherlands abstained.
Asessor. The German Leonberger Club had chosen Mr. Georg Leipelt as assessor.

There was ten minute pause in the meeting.

Discussion on changes to the statutes.

The official body that registers associations in Leonberg, requires some changes to be made to the statutes. It was stressed that it is not a legal requirement to register an association in Germany and registering the Union might have more negative than positive effects.
Registering would mean that the Union would have to work on a national and international level. This would go against the interests and goals of the member clubs, if the International Union interfered with their work on a national level.
The statement that "The Union is an umbrella organisation" will not be changed.
After discussion it was unanimously agreed that the Union statutes will remain as passed with only one alteration.

Alteration In the Preface, the following wording will be removed "Once incorporated with the registry of associations, the letters e.v. will be added to the name".
France abstained.

France proposed that each member country is delegated one vote per 300 members.
The statutes state that there is one vote per each member club, regardless of the size of its membership. This is the accepted procedure for most umbrella organisations, national Kennel Clubs and the FCI. The FCI is considering granting membership to umbrella organisations such as The Union. Therefore it is logical that the representation and voting in the Union, should reflect the way voting is regulated in the FCI.
The French delegates present agreed with the conclusion of the discussion, but they reported that their Committee has decided that the French Leonberger Club cannot be a member of the Union, if a  modification of the statutes is not accepted.
All member clubs voted unanimously to conserve the one club, one vote rule.
France abstained.
The meeting was convinced that this must be a misunderstanding on the part of the French Club. Guido Perosino and Hein Sibrijns will discuss the matter with the president of the French Club, to try to find a solution.
It is not acceptable that France will no longer be a member of The Union.

Health and life expectancy of the Leonberger.

The LCA is gathering information and has set up an open health registry.

Health information on diseases such as PolyNeuropathy, is available in LCA publications, the French Club magazine, The Swedish Club magazine and on the Union website.
The frequency of occurrence for this disease is very low. This makes research into possible hereditary causes, very difficult and can only be done by an expert geneticist.
The Leonberger Club of Great Britain has contacts with the famous geneticist, Dr. Malcolm Willis, who is willing to investigate the condition. Pedigrees of any known and confirmed cases of PolyNeuropathy can be sent to Dr. Willis, via the LCGB.
It was stressed that as there are so few incidences of the disease, everyone should not be alarmist. Dogs which have the disease should be eliminated from breeding. If a dog already has offspring when it is diagnosed with the disease, also exclude the offspring from breeding and this will further limit the number of cases. With the low number of affected dogs, there should be no need to use them for breeding. (click here for more info on PolyNeuropathie)

We should not exaggerate issues and eliminate entire breeding lines because of what is often gossip.
Dr Samuel Buff can  be asked to write an article and help with research into diseases.

It was decided that the Secretary, Hein Sibrijns will contact the member clubs and compose an inventory of the most common diseases and health related problems.
Eg : bitches who do not conceive. Positive results such as good hip scores will also be investigated.
The Committee will then make a proposal for investigation.

Miscellaneous

Pablo Pabst announced that he is retiring as President of the Swiss Club. He thanked the Union for ten years of constructive cooperation and he introduced Anita Treichler as his successor.

Dr. Guido Perosino (Italy) presented a drawing of a twelve and a thirteen year old Leonberger. He introduced Lucio Migni, the new president of the Italian Club.
He went on to announce the Millenium Leonberger awards for 2005:
Tatiana Zavorina (Russia):
" For opening the way for the proper distribution of the Leonberger in the Russian federation, one of the biggest countries in the world, after the most recent history has opened up new political frontiers to Europe"
Georg Leipelt (Germany):
"For the excellent organisation of the German championship Club Show for so many years.
It is the most valuable and emotional show for everyone in the world of Leonbergers.".
Dr Perosino reported that the Leonberger "Bobby Ensson Behomia" has won the group every time he was shown in Italy and he has won four Best in Show. This is a big promotion for the breed in Italy.

Finland announced that they are organising a large show in 2005 and details will appear in the Union calendar.

The Russian Club is producing a video on all aspects of breeding, showing and working with Leonbergers. They would welcome all taped and digital information. Please contact Natalia Romanova e-mail nromanov@ddb.ru

The Danish Kennel Club has reviewed the breeding rules, installed last year. A dog living in a country where there is no rule that elbows have to be scored before breeding, can now be used in Denmark without an elbow score.

The Leonberger Club Of America celebrates its 20th Anniversary on March 28th- April 1st 2005, in Austin, Texas. Everybody is invited.

Daniela Pavlovska, the breed warden of the Czechian Leonberger Club warned that kennel web sites may contain false information about health checks and show wins of the kennel’s dogs. Anyone wishing to import a dog, should check the information given, by contacting the breed warden, e-mail salveleon@volny.cz

Mr Fred Inwood (GB) expressed his pleasure at the developments within the Union. He said that the meeting was very pleasant and the most constructive ever.

In co-operation with the Union, the German Club will organise a judges’ seminar in November 2005. Details will be sent to all member clubs, later in the year.

Georg Leipelt (Germany) asked the member clubs to send him studbook information. Because the German Club compiles the studbook itself, it must be able to check the information related to foreign imports. Please send to Georg.leipelt@nwn.de

Closure

Herr Gerhard Zerle thanked the representatives for their positive contribution to the discussions and closed the meeting.

Leonberg 25-09-2004.

Hein Sibrijns…….Secretary
Gerhard Zerle……President