THE UNDERGROUND EDITORIAL
A New Years
Virginia Zurflieh, editor
No, were not going to resolve never to write another word about
"ears" again. In spite of all the words that have been written and spoken during
97 and 98, "ears" is still a burning issue for American boxer
breeders and exhibitors. Heres how things stand now: Amendment A - the amendment to
the Boxer Standard that specifically allowed for and described the boxers correct
natural ear - failed to get the required 2/3 majority vote of ABC members the first time
it was voted on. The petitioners for "A" didnt insist on a revote when the
American Kennel Club threw out the first election on procedural grounds, because we
doubted "A" would get the 2/3 majority vote so soon after the first election.
On the other hand, the people who oppose natural ears in the show ring
will never be able to get a 2/3 vote on an amendment making natural ears a fault, either.
Yes, Amendment B - the "deviation" amendment - did pass, but it is so unclear
and vague that no knowledgeable boxer judge will be able to interpret it as making the
boxers natural ear a "deviation" (read: fault) that he or she must
In the meantime, three uncropped boxers have finished their
championships to date in the US, and one of them is being shown successfully as a special
and has just qualified for the Top Twenty. This controversy is not going to go away just
because were tired of hearing about it.
So heres BUs proposal for a compromise that will give both
the "Traditionalists" and the "Progressives" some fairly comfortable
middle ground to stand on: By a vote of the membership present at the 1998 ABC General
Membership Meeting, Amendment A - the natural ears amendment - was sent to the ABC
Standards Committee, presumably for revision (why bother to send it to the Standards
Committee, if not for revision?). The committee could re-word the brief mention of ears in
in our standard in such a way that it was plain that either cropped or uncropped ears were
allowed, but that cropped ears were preferred. That should satisfy all but
the most uncompromising anti- and pro-choicers, and would give boxer judges clear
guidelines for judging the uncropped boxers that are going to continue to appear in their
For example: "Ears--Are cropped or uncropped, cropped ears
preferred. If cropped, they are set at the highest points of the sides of the skull, cut
rather long and tapering, raised when alert. If uncropped...(description of the correct
natural ear follows)."
The ABC Standards Committee - four very knowledgeable, longtime breeders
- have it within their power to call a halt to "Ear Wars" once and for all.
Heres hoping they resolve to accept that challenge in 99!