This past October, members of the Norwich and Norfolk Terrier Club (NNTC) voted to give each breed its own club. The American Kennel Club granted each breed separate status in 1979 when the Norwich Terrier DE officially became known as the Norfolk Terrier. However, it took six votes (in 1983, 1993, 1995, 1998, 2001 and 2007) to finally reach breed club separation. Most recently, 68.3% of the members in good standing returning ballots voted in favor of the split, with 31.7% going on record as opposed.
What this momentous vote means is that both the Norfolk Terrier and The Norwich Terrier will have its own representation as member clubs of the American Kennel Club. It also means that each club will be able to focus on the unique health issues that affect the breeds, that Norfolk Club members will vote on the Norfolk breed standard and Norwich Club members will vote on the Norwich breed standard, and that energy can be focused on those issues that are of interest to devotees of each breed, independent of the other.
While many people own both breeds, perhaps separation will eliminate the dreadful appellation "Nor" which has been used to group both breeds under one umbrella. Make no mistake, there are far more differences between these two breeds than ear carriage ... and now both the Norfolk and the Norwich have truly achieved independent status.
The AKC's 2007 "Breeder of the Year", Barbara Miller is the current Club president. In a letter to NNTC members, she charged current board members with forming two nominating committees, one for each breed club, to nominate officers and board members. She requested NNTC Committee chairmen to remain at their posts to insure continuity of the club. She anticipates that the year 2008 will be devoted to establishing both clubs as independent entities, with final details in place by 2009.
ANTIC, March, 2008
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