Animal Pedigree Act Status Report – June 2013

In early 2010 a process was initiated to explore the potential for the development of a national approach to have the Newfoundland pony recognized under the Federal Animal Pedigree Act as a distinct breed.  It was felt by all parties that such a development would benefit both the ponies and their owners and breeders.  To that end a Core Working Group (CWG) was set up consisting of four owner/breeder representatives to put forward recommendations.  Their published findings and recommendations were duly reviewed and analyzed by an Ad Hoc APA Review Committee appointed by NPS Council in 2012.  The Committee submitted its findings to Council in early 2013 and a decision was taken by Council at their meeting in May 2013 to adopt the Committee’s recommendations in a unanimous vote including a recommendation NOT to endorse the current proposals by the Core Working Group (CWG) for having the Newfoundland pony recognized under the Federal Animal Pedigree Act.

The following is an excerpt from a comprehensive report of the Ad Hoc APA Review Committee that was submitted to the Council for consideration and action.

1. The Committee recommends that the NPS reject the detailed characteristics outlined by the CWG in Bulletin #5 on the grounds that the list is incomplete and omits several physical and behavioural elements consistent with the NL pony. In like manner the Committee recommends that NPS reject the breeding plan as outlined in Bulletin #5 on the grounds that it holds the promise of diluting the healthy genetic diversity of the NL pony as we know it.

2. The Committee recommends that NPS maintain communications with the CWG but make it plain that NPS does not support either the standard or the breeding plan set forth in the CWG Bulletin #5.

3. The Committee recommends that in any case, future collaboration with the CWG should be subject to mutual agreement upon the following three guiding principles:

  • That the NL Newfoundland pony is a landrace heritage pony type breed in its own right with its own defined set of distinguishing characteristics and as such should be viewed as a distinct breed type as opposed to an evolving breed
  • That any future breeding plan will exclude part bred and crossbred stock in considering grading up schemes of the purebred or suspected pony population
  • That NPS continues to be the sole registering agent for the pony as provided for under the legislation enacted by the government of Newfoundland and Labrador
  • The Committee would also like to go on record to remind the CWG that to ignore the position of the NPS is to ignore a significant portion of the Newfoundland community and that APA sanctioning requires applicants to be clearly supported by a majority of the community.