Dear Board, Commission Members and Officers,
Dear colleagues and friends,
It is Board´s responsibility to ensure that proposals accepted at General Assemblies are implemented and included in the appropriate set of Statutes or Rules. As you are aware, the 2019 General Assembly accepted a proposal regarding the compulsory radiographic evaluation test on Hip Dysplasia for Maine Coon cats used in breeding and the official registration and publication of these test results.
Based on the reasons you can read below, the Board decided not to implement this proposal; in other words, to grant an exception to all Members to follow this rule.
This decision was not taken lightly and was based on recommendations received from the Health & Welfare and Disciplinary Commissions.
The Health & Welfare Commission initiated a survey amongst all FIFe Members regarding this matter, which regrettably, only generated answers or information from less than one-third of the Members. The reminder was answered by another third of the Members, which still leaves one third of the Members who did not cooperate with FIFe until today. Sad and shocking as this is, we do wish to thank all those Members who participated and answered the questions asked by the HWC.
The Board is convinced that it is important and desirable to test MCO cats on this affliction and to breed with MCO with healthy hips, but it will be impossible to test the well-over 15.000 Maine Coon cats, which are concerned in FIFe within an acceptable timeframe. One of the reasons is that currently only 2 organisations are apparently capable of evaluating the X-rays and these organisations cannot manage to test all of these 15.000 cats and evaluate the results within the desired frame of time.
Moreover, many universities all over Europe have stated that the criteria on how to interpret the scans or X-rays of the hips of cats have not been established and that the criteria used for dogs should not be used for cats.
This means that there is no fair unequivocal way to accomplish this testing in all FIFe Member countries for all Maine Coon cats.
In summary, the Board is convinced that if this proposal would have been implemented it would have led to chaos, uncertainty and serious problems.
We trust to have informed you adequately and ask you to inform your individual members and mainly breeders of Maine Coon of this decision, which will also be listed on the FIFe website.
Kind regards, by order of the Board,
Annette Sjödin – President Eric Reijers – General Secretary