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ASCA Breed Standard

Timeline and Plan of Action





When was the Standard adopted by ASCA?

The original Breed Standard was approved by the ASCA membership in 1977.  Annotations (explanations) were submitted by the Committee at that time. http://www.asca.org/aboutaussies/standardannotations

When did the ASCA BOD appoint a Breed Standard Review Committee (BSRC)?

In 2001 the ASCA Board appointed a Committee to review the Standard.  The committee was instructed that they were not to recommend CHANGES, but only to CLARIFY the existing Standard unless there is something within that science has shown to be inaccurate (namely the 45 degree shoulder angle). 

Who was a part of the BSRC?

Members of that committee were Sunday Miles, Linda Bell, Sandy Cornwell, Kim Cochran, Ernie Hartnagle, Shelly Hollen, Gail Karmalegos, Terry Martin, Kristin McNamara, and Cheri Preciado.   Over 300 years of combined experience with Australian Shepherds and ASCA were represented on the committee. 

How long did the BSRC work together on clarifying the Standard?

The committee worked for over six years, always with a liaison from the Board and using research and membership input.  Twice rough drafts were printed in the Aussie Times and put on the website for comment.  Input was sought and received from Committee Reports in the Aussie Times.  13, 251 emails passed on the BSRC group list, with many more private emails, letters and telephone conversations.  The effort put forth by this group of people and their BOD liason was massive both in the intensity of discussion and time spent.

When did the BSRC finish their effort?

In 2006 committee members, Terry Martin and Shelly Hollen, met with the ASCA Board at the spring meeting.  At that time the board agreed that if and when a document went to the membership it should be voted on section by section with approved sections replacing the originals. 

The Committee submitted their final draft to the ASCA Board in September 2007. 

What did the ASCA Board of Directors do with the work of the Breed Standard Review Committee?

After 6 years of work by dedicated, experienced ASCA members, some of which were a part of the drafting of the original Standard, many of whom have been owners and breeders for 40+ years, after over thirteen thousand emails, after hundreds of huge discussions over minute details--the Board of Directors basically threw the work of the BSRC in the trash.  They did not approve a single section to go to the membership for a vote.

Subsequently the Board appointed three of their own members to start from scratch and review the Standard, in effect making the statement that they,  in a short amount of time, by themselves and without membership input, (please scroll up and look at the committee's membership if you need a reminder of the depth of experience on the committee) could do a better job than the 6 years of effort by the massively experienced committee members. 

The ASCA BOD, without seeking membership input, recently came up with their own revisions and put them to a vote of the present board.  The motion failed.

What can we do to allow the membership to vote?

The ASCA By-Laws state that changes can be made to the Breed Standard only by a 2/3 majority approval of the ASCA membership voting on the issue.  They can only be sent to the membership in two ways.  One is with unanimous approval of the ASCA Board of Directors and the other is by a petition from 20% of the ASCA MEMBERSHIP!   

At this point in time since the Board is apparently adamant that the Membership shall not ever be allowed to vote on the six years of work, there is only one recourse left to have a Membership voice in this very important document.  A petition signed by 20% of the ASCA membership can over-ride the ASCA Board of Directors.  At this point in time that is going to be about 1400 signatures.