The German Shepherd Dog fraternity worldwide has noted with interest the judgement handed down by the District Court in Dortmund, Germany, that the Verein für das Deusche Hundewesen (VDH) had violated German and European antitrust laws by seeking to restrain the SV from releasing its German Shepherd Dog Specialist Judges to member organisations of the Weltunion der Vereine für Deutsche Schäferhunde (WUSV) that are not members of the FCI’s National Canine Organisations (NCOs) in various countries of the world. This prompted KUSA to seek confirmation from the FCI that, since this ruling was based on antitrust principles, it sought to bring about parity in all groupings’ access to SV Judges, whether German, or otherwise, irrespective of affiliation.
KUSA consulted with the Executive of the Asia, Africa and Oceania (A2O) Section of the FCI and received confirmation that KUSA-affiliated Clubs were equally entitled to apply for, and be granted, SV Judges to officiate at German Shepherd Dog Specialist Championship Shows in South Africa. The President of the A2O Section, Mr Augusto Benedicto Santos III, undertook to state the FCI’s position on this matter in writing and has subsequently provided KUSA with the letter below.
Following the Dortmund ruling, it is now abundantly clear that KUSA-affiliated German Shepherd Dog Specialist Clubs may no longer be denied access to SV Judges and hopefully it won’t be too long before one or more of our Clubs will host a Specialist German Shepherd Dog Judge from Germany to officiate at a Show held under a KUSA-licence!
July 29, 2020
AVAILABILITY OF SV JUDGES TO CLUBS AFFILIATED TO KUSA
I refer to our recent Zoom meeting and thank you for seeking the counsel of the Executive of the Asia, Africa and Oceania Section of the FCI on certain issues affecting the Kennel Union of Southern Africa (KUSA). It was most useful to learn more about the challenges faced by KUSA in South Africa and I hope that Gopi and I were able to make a productive contribution towards addressing some of them.
You raised, inter alia, the issue of the availability of SV Judges to officiate at KUSA-licensed events following the judgement handed down by the District Court of Dortmund, Germany when, on 4 March 2020, the Court confirmed its interim injunction of 12 February 2020 by way of oral proceedings. As you correctly pointed out, the Court found that the instruction issued by the VDH to the SV in December 2019, violated European and German antitrust laws. In essence, the VDH’s instruction sought to prevent the SV from making specialist German Shepherd Dog Judges available to WUSV member Clubs in foreign countries where those Clubs did not belong to the FCI’s National Canine Organisations (NCO).
After a distinguished career with the Kennel Union spanning forty years, it is not only with great sadness, but also with heartfelt melancholy, that the members of the Federal Council, the members of the Executive Committee, the Management and staff of the Kennel Union and the Members of the Kennel Union bid farewell to the Secretary of KUSA, Sheila Thornberry.
Sheila joined the Kennel Union in 1980 as the Personal Assistant to the then Secretary of the Kennel Union, Mr Robert Murchie. Under Mr Murchie’s mentorship, she was given a thorough grounding in the Articles and Schedules of the KUSA Constitution and received intensive training in dealing with the complexities of meeting procedures and mastering the presentation of agendas and minutes. When Mr Murchie retired in 1989, he was replaced by Mr Peter Collins, under whom Sheila served as PA until his unexpected death in 1993. By then Sheila had become well versed in the duties and responsibilities of the Secretary of the Kennel Union and she was able to seamlessly step in and hold the fort as Deputy Secretary for a short while. Her appointment as Mr Collins’s successor in the position of Secretary of the Kennel Union became official at the end of 1993.
Under the able leadership of the former President of the Kennel Union, Mr Greg Eva, Sheila acquainted herself with the intricacies of the Kennel Union’s operations and, after Mr Eva’s departure, dedicated herself to adapting to the ever-increasing demands of an organisation which had undergone imperative restructuring. The Federal Council, Executive Committee and the General Manager became heavily reliant on her unfailing institutional memory and her ability to rapidly recall past precedents and recorded decisions to guide and inform resolution of the numerous challenging situations which routinely crop up in the course of the Kennel Union’s administration.
As we say goodbye to Sheila after such a protracted and exemplary term of service, all her KUSA colleagues - those that shared her space in Bree Street, as well as those scattered across the country – wish her only happiness and fulfilment in her retirement and an abundance of pleasurable indulgence and accomplishment during the leisure years that await her. Sheila will leave us with her unique mark indelibly carved on the copious pages of a large chunk of Kennel Union history and countless will be the days that one or other of her colleagues will wish that she was still close at hand.