NAIA: NATIONAL ANIMAL INTEREST
WHAT IT DOES,
WHY WE NEED TO GET INVOLVED
The infamous "so-called" Puppy
Protection Act has done something reasonable people have been unable to
do--it has caused a lot of dog breeders to wake up to the fact that animal
rights extremists (AR's) would like to legislate us all out of existence!
In the past, hobby show breeders have operated from an ivory tower
concept that we are doing everything right and so all of this legislation
will not affect us. WRONG!!!
Patti Strand, President of NAIA and an AKC Board member wrote a book a while back called "The Hijacking of the Humane Movement". Some of us bought it and read it. But even then we looked out in our yards to see the sun shining and our happy, healthy, beautiful purebred dogs playing in the sun. Whatever. Our little insulated world was somehow not affected.
What Patti was telling us was that animal rights extremists, headed by PETA's Ingrid Newkirk and company were going about joining some of our oldest and wealthiest humane societies and gradually taking over their Boards and changing their philosophy from welfare-the humane treatment of animals- to the extremist view that animals should not be owned, bred, or used for food, entertainment, or companionship! And of course we are all supposed to become not just vegetarians, but vegans! Add to this the idea that public lands should be off limits to human use and the AR's have joined forces with the "Greens". However, the dog community was busy dashing from one show, obedience trial, field trial or social event to the next and expected that someone else was surely on top of this.
As the extremists conquered one heavily endowed humane group after the other adding vast millions of dollars to their war chest on the way, most people went on with their lives. AR's began sending materials into schools and colleges. Animal rights student groups started sprouting with the aggressive AR push. AR law became a field at some colleges. And of course legislation started to be used as a weapon. The plan was incremental; get one little victory at a time. The plan also was to use one animal group against the next. In this effort, dog people have proven to be extraordinarily gullible. They have happily campaigned against fellow animal users, oblivious to the big picture.
Suddenly, but really, not at all suddenly, we were faced with the single biggest threat to the continuance of the sport of purebred dogs--the infamous so-call Puppy Protection Act, the warm fuzzy sounding bill designed to hobble and then gut dog breeding in the U.S. AR's had laid the ground work--big media exposes of "puppy mills" to prepare the public and congress, infiltration of shelters and rescues groups by AR activists, lots of horrible photos to get everyone very emotional, a proliferation of websites featuring anti-puppy mill campaigns. Who could not protect a darling puppy? So dog people, who were not paying attention, jumped up and screamed "no puppy mills!" right along with the AR's nicely used to full effect!
Of course the kicker was that the Doris Day Animal League, one of the most virulent AR organizations in the US, sued the USDA to remove the exemption for hobby breeders from the mountains of regulations imposed on commercial breeders. They won, but USDA is appealing. Combined with the PPA, this would have been a one-two knockout for the sport of dogs. In spite of all this, a great many dog people still "don't get it."
Luckily for all of us, Patti Strand has always gotten it. Over the last ten years of so Patti has put together the National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA). This organization is not just about dogs, though, so some dog people don't "get" this either. NAIA includes all areas of animal interest. There is a reason for this. The AR agenda is all encompassing. AR's have taken over the wealthiest Humane groups in the US like the Humane Society of the US (HSUS), which reported assets of $99,412,194 in 1999 according to Animal People. You read that right, $99 Million!!! A lot of people have figured out that PETA is the ultimate extremist group but they have looked at HSUS as a moderate group. In fact, HSUS is right in the same bag with PETA, DDAL, In Defense of Animals (IDA) and all the other extremist groups.
NAIA includes business, agricultural, scientifuc, recreational, welfare, sport and other animal interests. Dog people, in their ivory towers have failed to see the enormous benefit to be gained by joining with other interest groups. People should know that NAIA is a welfare organization. It is educational in nature. It has standing as a strong, animal use, animal welfare organization presenting a philosophy of being humane and not insane. When the extremist groups are lobbying to legislate us out of existence, NAIA is there, available to offer a logical, reasonable, creditable alternative to AR extremist views on behalf of all animal use groups. By representing more than dogs, NAIA's voice is so much stronger. This is NAIA's statement:
"The National Animal Interest Alliance is a unique and positive alternative to existing animal welfare groups. Our membership is exceptional for its diversity and hands-on expertise in dealing with animal welfare issues. Unique among animal welfare organizations, our members define themselves by the concerns they share about animals rather than by their differences. NAIA recognizes that an important dimension of the relationship people have with animals is a function of their personal ethics. Even among people who care deeply about the welfare of animals, there is no single ethical position on which all participants agree. Since knowledge is the foundation on which values and ethical positions are developed, NAIA members share the following view: In a society that enjoys and depends on the use of animals--for food, for clothing, for medical advances, for companionship, and for recreation and entertainment---factual information about the nature of animal use is essential to our social well-being.
Dog people need to become a part of this organization. Some have stated that they are upset that NAIA does include some commercial interests. But then many dog people have swallowed the AR line that every commercial operation is disgusting and filthy. They should get over this. Perhaps if they understood that AR's want to substitute street dogs from home and abroad as the only politically correct pet they would see how AR's are educating the public that ALL breeders are puppy mills and any breeding of anything is the devil's work.
During the campaign against the PPA, those of us who were spending untold hours organizing opposition were so very grateful to have the incredible NAIA website and the fascinating NAIA animal talk email list. We learned a lot, and we had a place to send people. We had a place to copy quotes from the extremist leaders to make the point that this bill was not about protecting puppies but about crippling dog breeding, especially hobby dog breeding. Now NAIA is building its NAIA Trust to work more directly on legislation, both federal and state.
Everyone just must get involved. The PPA showed us what happens when we think someone else is taking care of the store. I would urge all clubs and all individuals to join and support this organization. Join it to educate yourself, and join it to help fund its good work. Supposting NAIA is a very worthwhile endeavor. Making a strong NAIA is one of the very best ways we can work against the animal rights extremists who would like to kill our sport. It is so much better to be able to tell legislators that we have more than AKC in opposition to bad legislation. NAIA is one of those strong voices on our side.
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