Monday, October 04, 2010

Beating the Drum Again...

Arguments in the saluki- tazi world again (and implicitly in the whole dog world) on closed studbooks, "invalid colors", the usual. And as always, sane and scientific counsel from John Burchard:

"I think we have to remember that the breed subdivisions within the "oriental
sighthound" group are to some considerable extent a Western artifact which does
not accurately reflect the reality on the ground. On the ground there are
several regional populations, each with a considerable range of phenotypic
variation, grading more or less insensibly into one another. The extent of gene
exchange among them is probably considerable but thanks to "breed politics"
(also a Western invention) I fear we are unlikely ever to get honest and
accurate sampling that would permit DNA analysis of the situation. Almost
everyone involved has some kind of agenda and most of those agendas are either
Western-inspired or based on a desire to have a "national" breed. Most of these
dogs are called "saluqi" in regions of Arabic speech and some variant of "tazi"
elsewhere. To me it appears that the phenotypic "fault lines" - to the extent
that such actually exist, which is far from obvious - do not particularly
coincide with the linguistic ones - nor, alas, with the "breed political" ones.
Introducing the Western "purebred" model, derived from 19th century notions of
human racial "purity", into this situation has IMHO not been beneficial.

"In other words, when we speak of "different breeds" here, it is probably a good
idea to use quotation marks."

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