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Eileen Stein

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  1. Sorry to hear about your pup, but I appreciate your posting this, since I have never heard of HOD in a border collie before. I'm sure your vet has told you to discontinue the vitamin supplement? Overnutrition and vitamin/mineral supplementation, especially calcium, are suspected as contributing to HOD. Good luck!
  2. > I can't take offense at this, because I'm the perfect example of what Charlie is warning about. Eighteen years ago I was an attorney, living with my husband and a sweet old retriever mix in a close-in suburb of Washington, D.C., in a house I thought would be our home for the rest of our lives. Then one day I went to a sheepdog trial. Now I live in the sticks, have 30 acres, a flock of sheep, and five border collies, and do so little lawyering most people would say I was retired. I'm a night person who went into law because I was under the (false) impression that lawyers don't have to start work til 10:00 a.m. Now the trials I'm involved in generally "start at daybreak." And--get this--lawyering was much easier and I was good at it! Still have the same husband, though . . . bless his heart.
  3. Welcome, Cheri! USBCHA trials are open to any dog, regardless of pedigree, registration or lack thereof. Most competing dogs have only one name, usually a short one like Rob. It will take time and training for you and Rob to get the hang of this, but once you feel confident about walking to the post you can enter. For a list of USBCHA trials that is frequently updated, go to http://www.usbcha.com/upcomingtrials.htm
  4. I can't imagine anyone being prejudiced against a dog because it's pretty. Never encountered that. Just because I'm opposed to formalizing and ritualizing the idea of prettiness, developing a description of what's pretty and what isn't, and judging and breeding dogs based on that prettiness standard, doesn't mean I'm not sincere when I say to someone (as I often do) "What a pretty dog!" I'm not doubting you -- I'm just saying I've never run into anyone commenting disapprovingly on a dog's being pretty. I have one dog who looks like a show dog, and people who know me well sometimes tease me about it, but that's different. BTW, I've found a lot of border collies have that ability to magically become spotless within a couple of hours of a mud coating -- lying down dirty and rising up clean. It's a great quality!
  5. Margaret, Robin and I know each other, we've talked about this subject for years. For a lot of that time we've disagreed, but I don't think Robin holds any animus toward me, and I certainly don't hold any toward her. The only person trying to foment bloodshed seems to be you, and it's really getting tedious. I think you're going to be disappointed in us border collie folks; we're not as vicious as you seem to be hoping.
  6. As far as I know, AKC has never permanently accepted registrations from any US registry that does not reciprocate and cooperate with it in verifying pedigrees, etc. I hope that's going to protect us from being recognized as a "foreign registry" (I don't think that's the exact term they use, but I can't remember what is, and I'm too lazy to look it up right now.) We're still looking into some of the earlier suggestions about excluding pedigree information from the registration certificates, and so forth, trying to determine if there's a way we could influence AKC registerability from our end. If so, that could certainly shift the equation you're concerned about.
  7. Robin, I started out to answer you and then decided we ARE just plowing old ground. You've made these points before, and I've answered them, and you've answered my answer. So I'll give it a rest, except to say that I think by taking this action we WOULD be supporting the breeders who are making the right choices and helping them continue to do so, which I agree with you is an important thing to do. On the subject of wanting to see the studbooks closed -- if I'm not mistaken, you're good friends with the BCSA person who has spearheaded the effort to keep the AKC studbook open. Is there any chance, in your opinion, that the BCSA might be persuaded to just let the studbook close? Is there any point in our making efforts in that direction? I have always assumed there was not, but maybe the situation has changed? I enjoyed seeing you at the trial last weekend too. It was a pleasure to get away from all this for a little while, and enjoy some good dogs.
  8. > Strong arm tactics? Why is it strong arm tactics to propose a course of action that will protect the breed against a widely-perceived danger, and to adopt that course of action if it has widespread support within the registry? The overwhelming majority of good working breeders strongly opposed AKC recognition of the border collie. Why did they oppose it? Because they thought AKC involvement represented a danger to the breed. If they recognized that danger then, there's no reason to think they don't recognize it now. If they recognize the danger, why wouldn't they want their registry to take action to discourage AKC registration and preserve the integrity of the working breed by enforcing its rule against registering the offspring of AKC dogs, when the open registration period is dragging on and on beyond what anyone expected? The registry is representing their expressed interests. There may be vocal (mostly in private, I guess) opponents of this course of action, but that doesn't mean the vast majority of the membership -- and the vast majority of the good working breeder members -- don't support it. And if they don't, they can elect a board of directors that will change the policy in the future, because ABCA is a member-owned registry which elects its directors. That is not true of the NASDS, where there are no elections and no voice in management for those who register. > Yes, ABCA does accept NASDS registered dogs and their offspring, so this would represent no split in the gene pool. The only consequence would be that that dog would not be eligible for the prize money that ABCA awards to ABCA-registered dogs. > If the NASDS registered dog is also AKC registered, under the future ban or the NB its offspring would not be registerable (except by ROM) with the ABCA unless it had been registered with AKC before the grandfathering date. Same as if the dog was ABCA registered. > Same as they would if the dog were ABCA registered -- by requiring a statement on the application for registration that the dog is not registered with the AKC, and if the application is for a pup, that its sire and dam either are not registered with the AKC or were registered before the grandfathering date. I'm puzzled at this perception that the ABCA is trying to railroad a policy that the members oppose. I hear very, very few members saying that they approve of AKC registration, and even fewer saying that dogs who go the AKC route should be bred and their offspring included in our studbook. I'm really sorry and discouraged if this is beginning to be portrayed as strong arming anyone. I would have thought the invitation for membership comment would have made it clear to everyone that the Board is genuinely interested in learning how the membership feels and what they want. Why aren't these people who are apparently complaining of strong arm tactics speaking up and voicing their opinion about the issue itself? I would love to hear about the merits of the proposals from more than the same old people -- including me.
  9. > The point is not to hurt AKC, as I'm sure you realize. The point is to prevent insofar as possible intermingling between the traditional breed defined by work and the AKC breed defined by appearance. AKC's closing their studbooks would do this most effectively, but we cannot make them do so. We can make closure more likely, though, by discouraging AKC registration. When the AKC extended the open registration period the last time, they did so (according to their Board minutes) with the following proviso: "The Parent Club was to be advised that no further extension would be granted unless its efforts to increase registrations during this five-year period were successful." Thus, anyone who registers with the AKC contributes to ensuring that the studbook stays open. More data is welcome from any source, but in the end we have to make a decision on the data available. Deciding to do nothing is just as much a decision as deciding to do something, and carries its own risks. There may be people who will choose to register with the AKC even if it means exclusion of those dogs or their offspring from the ABCA, but you seem to be ignoring the fact that there are also people who will choose not to register with the AKC if it means exclusion of those dogs or their offspring from the ABCA. Like Candy, I can't see why serious breeders who care about the breed as working dogs would choose the AKC over the ABCA.
  10. References to the Jack Russell Terrier case have cropped up on several threads dealing with dual registration, and I thought it might be good to post an explanation about it as a single thread, so it would be easy to locate. Like the border collie, the Jack Russell Terrier was recognized by the AKC against the wishes of most JRT breeders and owners. This occurred in 1997. The JRTCA, the Jack Russell registry, had the same concerns as we do about deterioration of their breed's working ability as a result of AKC registration, and moved aggressively to protect their dogs by invoking what's called their "conflicting organization rule." Under that rule, no one could join or continue as a member of the JRTCA who registered their JRT with the AKC. That meant that they could no longer register dogs with the JRTCA, and could not compete in or judge JRTCA trials. A lawsuit was filed against the JRTCA by one of its affiliate clubs, which did not wish to enforce the conflicting organization rule, and by a couple of JRT breeders who dual registered and whose JRTCA membership was cancelled because they registered with the AKC. Several of the plaintiffs' claims were thrown out before trial as being clearly without legal merit. The case went to trial on the remaining claims, and the judge ruled in favor of the JRTCA. The Court held that there was no legal basis for requiring the JRTCA to change its policy, and that it was free to continue enforcing its conflicting organization rule with respect to its members and activities under its auspices. The name change of the AKC breed from Jack Russell Terrier to Parson Russell Terrier had no connection with the lawsuit. The change was proposed by the AKC parent club (the JRTAA, which will soon become the PRTAA), so that the name would be consistent with the British Kennel Club, which is now using the name Parson Russell Terrier. Some of the other overseas Kennel Clubs (e.g. Australia, Ireland) recognize two sizes of the dogs, terming the smaller one "Jack Russell Terrier" and the taller one "Parson Russell Terrier." The breed standard of the AKC JRT specifies the taller size, so there too the name change contributed to international consistency. The AKC went along with the parent club's request. So unfortunately this does not give rise to any hope that we could get AKC to change the name of their border collies, since neither AKC nor the BCSA wants to do so.
  11. > Under Options B and C, those dogs' offspring would be includable into the ABCA registry through grandfathering. Those breeders would then have to decide whether to register FUTURE breeding stock with the AKC, knowing if they did so that their offspring would not be registerable with the ABCA. If they chose not to register their future breeding stock with the AKC, they would still be free to sell any of their offspring to AKC homes, just as many ABCA breeders with non-AKC-registered stock do now. There's no reason why "Nobody can tell me what to do!" feelings should arise. Nobody is telling them what to do; the registry is simply determining what dogs it will register. > This was certainly something the committee reflected on long and hard. As explained above, the question does not arise unless/until AKC closes its studbook. Until then, working breeders can readily sell their puppies to AKC homes without registering the sires and dams AKC, and indeed that seems to be the choice that the majority of working breeders have made. Just before the last deadline for closing the studbook, BCSA made a big pitch that dogs had to be AKC-registered now or they would be shut out. There was a little flurry of increased registrations, but still it appears that most working breeders chose not to register. To say what breeders will do if option B or C were to be enacted "will depend upon how much income they derive from selling puppies" is not really accurate. Rather, it might depend on how much income they derive from selling puppies that cannot be sold to non-AKC homes. "Selling puppies" does not = "selling puppies for AKC registration." If they can place their puppies in working homes, pet homes, non-AKC performance homes, ILP homes, or any combination thereof, then they will be unaffected by the change. Numerically, AKC-registering homes are far outnumbered by these other options. It may also depend on how much loyalty those breeders feel to the registry and the long-term welfare of the working border collie. A few people on these boards have said the registry is and ought to be nothing but a clerical service, recording pedigrees. But the registry is more than that. Why does it support eye research? Because it has a responsibility for advancing the welfare of the border collie, and that includes trying to eliminate health problems. Why does it support the finals, with contributions both to the costs of putting them on and substantial prize money, when this money benefits only the tiny fraction of the membership who run in the finals? Because it has a responsibility for preserving the working ability of the border collie and showcasing its worth, and the finals contributes to those goals. If it were nothing but a data bank, it shouldn't be doing any of those things, it should be just recording pedigrees, issuing registration certificates, and keeping its fees as low as possible. Responding to the threat that dual registration and AKC hegemony presents to the breed is another legitimate role of the registry, and I think most good working breeders accept that. A lot of these people had experience with the other proprietary border collie registries, and see this one as superior. Many have served on its board and take some pride in it and are committed to its welfare. That, plus the insignificance of the financial cost (if any) that options B and C would produce for them will cause most of them to remain with the ABCA in my opinion. Of course, if there are any among them who are actively courting the AKC market, and are trying to get in on the ground floor of what they hope will be some kind of financial bonanza, they will leave the ABCA, but if their goals are that AKC-centered, that will be just as well. [This message has been edited by Eileen Stein (edited 10-21-2002).]
  12. Like Bill Fosher, I do feel a sense of futility in replying to someone who has branded those who think as I do "zealots" whose "proselytizing" will never influence him, but here I go being "intolerant" again. (I gather "intolerant" means disagreeing with those who support dual registration?) > There's no question that the ABCA rule on this subject is as Bill Fosher portrays it -- it bars registration of offspring of any AKC registered dog, not just any dog who is registered ONLY with the AKC. This is a situation where an organization's policy (written rule) is different from its practice (what is actually done). If a future ban or NB is adopted it will represent more a change in practice than a change in policy. > Very few, as things stand right now. > Well, it's an analogy. It highlights the fact that, in all areas of life, people who desire to act in a way which has produced near-uniformly bad results for others, are good at coming up with reasons why it will not produce bad results for them. > Well, in the case of herding breeds, I suspect that developing a good working dog who could be of maximum assistance in managing one's livestock preceded and exceeded winning as a motivation. If that motivation couldn't overcome Kennel Club recognition as a means of preserving working ability in any other herding breed, isn't that some cause for concern? > I have the greatest respect for Pam Wolf, but don't you think the offhand impressions of one person about the performance arenas available to other breeds are a very fragile support on which to base a theory on which you are willing to wager the future of our breed? In any case, Pam didn't say there was no performance arena for any of the other herding breeds. She referred to the Australian Shepherd, which had an extensive herding trial program in effect before AKC recognition, and whose working ability has nevertheless deteriorated, at least according to most ASCA people. And Pam didn't speak at all regarding the performance arenas available to other types of working breeds (e.g., hunting) whose abilities have diminished following kennel club recognition. Yes, it is. Upon AKC abduction of the breed new arenas have been provided to the breeders, and there is every reason to think the desire to win in those arenas will alter the breeding goals of those who register AKC. If the AKC market is so essential to the survival of our good breeders as you maintain, they will have to shape their product to succeed in that market. That means producing a "versatile" dog who can succeed in conformation as well as in AKC's more obedience-oriented herding and in agility. If the AKC market is NOT so essential to the survival of our good breeders as you maintain, then they will not be hurt as badly as you claim by a future ban or NB, and will therefore not be inclined to abandon ABCA for AKC. > The USBCHA trials are indeed a well established arena that provides motivation to breed for performance NOW. But the growth of dual registration threatens that arena. Now that AKC has changed its herding trial rules to permit money prizes as well as titles, those trials will become more attractive to dual-registering breeders/handlers. If they are going to cultivate the AKC market, they can do so better with an impressive array of AKC titles, and not lose by it financially if AKC trial prize money grows to match USBCHA prize money. There are only so many weekends, and only so many sponsors. Purina used to sponsor our finals (and remember Purina points?). They no longer do so -- now they host the BCSA/AKC National Specialty at Purina Farms, Gray Summit. Again I point to how the AKC has gone after the "well established" agility market, the power they have brought to bear on behalf of their less-challenging (by most agility devotees' assessment) agility trials, their growing share of the market and USDAA's and NADAC's diminishing share. We should reflect on this and learn from it. I don't know why you so complacently assume that we can dance with the devil and not get burnt. > We did fine with the breeding numbers game before there was an AKC market, and it's obvious from the registration numbers that the vast majority of non-herding dogs produced now by those breeding for herding excellence are not going to the AKC market. We do not need that market, and if we move in the direction of needing that market, we will inevitably have to begin shaping our product to compete in that market. > It may (and I certainly hope it will), but that's entirely their decision. If our dogs are excluded from AKC registration when the studbook closes, it is AKC that's doing the excluding, not the ABCA.
  13. > Well, it has been publicized on the ABCA's website, in The American Border Collie magazine, in The Working Border Collie magazine, and in the USBCC newsletter, just to name the venues I'm aware of. And by word of mouth, of course. > I don't feel my dues are wasted because I think the registry has generally spent its revenues in a productive way to the benefit of the border collie. You may feel otherwise, I suppose. If the registry spends thousands of dollars to poll the membership in this situation, where not a single member I know is unaware of the issue and the means by which they can make their opinions known to the directors, I will think it is wasting those thousands of dollars, but that will certainly not cause me to withdraw my support. I think this action is within the purview of the directors, and that they are knowledgeable enough to see the need for it and responsible enough to take it, but if they are unwilling to do so without ascertaining whether a majority of the membership supports this course of action, then I hope they do poll.
  14. Robin, the ABCA has publicized these proposals very widely, and has urged members to make known their views on the subject. A forum was established on these boards so members could express and discuss their views. If a majority of members are opposed to the proposals, they could easily become the majority voice on the ABCA Member's forum simply by posting their views. Nevertheless, any members who don't care to post to these boards for any reason are free to express their views to their directors in person, by letter, by phone, by email. If people don't care enough to make their opinions known by any of these methods, I don't see why the ABCA should expend further effort and resources trying to elicit input from them. I'm not on the board, so it's not my decision to make, but as a member I think the registry has done all that could reasonably be expected to solicit membership input, and should not waste money trying to poll more than 7,000 voting members by mail. But should they choose to do so, I think they would find that the majority voice on these boards truly reflects the majority view of the membership.
  15. Mark Billadeau wrote: > This argument seems specious to me. First, do you really know that none of these other breeds had "a well-established test of working ability," or is that just a guess on your part? Even if many of them did not have a method comparable to the USBCHA trials, if they were indeed useful working dogs, they had SOME means by which breeders could ascertain an effective approach to breeding for the development and maintenance of their working ability. Unless you think superior working ability arises by coincidence, there existed both "a drive for excellence in working ability" and a means by which breeders could achieve this excellence -- otherwise the dogs would not have been a useful working breed. Their breeders' method, whatever it was, sufficed to produce useful dogs until the breed was accepted into the Kennel Club, but thereafter was insufficient to maintain usefulness in the breed. Which is exactly what we fear -- with good reason -- here. The Lassie Collie, for example, was developed from exactly the same working dogs as our current border collie. The same means of developing and maintaining a breeding program that would produce useful working dogs existed for those who were registered with the Kennel Club and those who were not, but the branch of the breed which went the Kennel Club route lost their working ability, while the "collies" that stayed outside retained their ability and eventually came to be recognized as a separate breed. The "different test of excellence (conformation)" that the Kennel Club offered to the Collies registered with them, which brought this change about, is the same test the AKC espouses today as the sole basis for breeding decisions. Second, just because we have an established system of USBCHA trials doesn't mean that system will survive the gravitational pull of the AKC. The AKC is huge, in size, power and status. It has its own herding program -- one that most of us think is an inadequate measure of working ability and, because it must accommodate all breeds, could never be otherwise. Last February AKC changed its rules to permit cash prizes at the herding trials it sanctions, so now it will be possible for participants to get both money and AKC titles. It has been pointed out on these boards that AKC was a late comer to the sport of agility, but has gone a long way toward marginalizing the formerly-thriving agility programs of USDAA and NADAC. Now, we are told, AKC is where the action is. Complacency is natural, but things don't stay the same in life. I'm not going to draw a blueprint for something I don't want to be built, but if you look far enough into the future it's easy to see that the ABCA is not the only one of our institutions that's threatened by the AKC-ification of the border collie. As for your belief that our "pros" would switch to the AKC, taking with them the lines you seem to think they exclusively control, if the future ban or the NB were instituted, I don't think you have any better basis for this conclusion than I have for believing that most of them care enough about the breed not to do that. Neither one of us has surveyed "pros" at the National Finals, and what people say when surveyed is far from a reliable indication of what they will do. The great majority of pros are not now registering dogs with the AKC. If they had to make a choice now (not that either the future ban or the NB imposes such a choice -- under either one they could still sell puppies that could be registered with the AKC), I believe they would choose us. Farther down the road, after all the many, gradual, foreseeable changes that can only accelerate drift towards the AKC if we do nothing, that will not be the case.
  16. Rose, I'm moving this topic to the General Border Collie Discussion forum because I think you'll get more response there.
  17. Thank you, Bonnie, that's very considerate of you. I think the easiest way would be to email Patty Rogers at [email protected], tell her you'd like to resign your membership, and ask her if there's anything else you need to do.
  18. I don't think they're still selling "Training and Working the Border Collie," are they? I think they've replaced it with "Starting Your Border Collie on Cattle, Sheep and Ducks," which is shorter but really an excellent video. BTW, Rural Route Videos is Martin Penfold.
  19. Tom Wilson is still breeding dogs from his Roy line. I think his Dot, currently ranked #1 in points, is a great-granddaughter of Roy (Roy>Kate>Vic>Dot). You might want to contact Bruce also, since I think his Roy is a grandson of Tommy's Roy -- a littermate of Vic, if I'm not mistaken. Also, Bruce might be able to tell you where to find dogs descended from his great Dell daughter, Hope.
  20. They have gone to once a year Christmas specials -- that's all. This year's was filmed a couple of weeks ago and will be aired in the UK as a 70-minute special during Christmas week.
  21. Margaret, thank you for your kind words. You wrote: > I think that, by and large, this is not the case. We don't have licensed judges. The trial host picks the judge, and tries to pick someone whose judgment will be respected. I have been judged by a handler who dual registers with the AKC, and feel I was judged with total fairness. That handler in turn has been judged at other trials by handlers who are totally opposed to dual registration, and I would be very surprised if he didn't think he too was judged fairly. To the extent there is any unfairness in judging, and as far as I can tell there isn't much, it would be a matter of individual bias of a particular judge, and not a group thing. I don't know how common or uncommon this is in human communities of the world. I have no reason to doubt that the situation is as you describe it in the JRTCA, but that may just be one example of the differences between us, and the reason why Elizabeth and Laura were honestly bewildered by your original statement.
  22. Pam, UKC did take that stand (excluding border collies from conformation) for a long time, honoring the request of the USBCC. Unfortunately, two years ago the leadership at UKC changed, and Wayne Cavanaugh, who had been a Vice-President of the AKC during the border collie wars, took over as President and imposed a much more AKC-type outlook. Soon after that, the border collie was included in conformation showing by the UKC. The English Shepherd met the same fate, BTW, despite the very active opposition of its breed club, which was much more affected than we are because the UKC was their principal--if not their only--registry.
  23. You know, Jack Knox always says in his clinics, "Dunna [do not] praise the dog." I haven't really taken this advice to heart in dog-training -- I do praise the dog at times unless I can see it's distracting to her. But I have kinda taken his advice to heart in life. It's made me conscious of the benefits of developing and applying our own yardstick to measure what we do, rather than looking to someone else's opinion to validate our efforts. If you work for your own satisfaction rather than for someone else's praise, there are no "distractions." Other judges can be mistaken, but when we set our own expectations and honestly assess how we've met them or fallen short -- well, it's just another way of doing things, I guess. I don't want to sound all philosophical -- it's just a thought. But as a manager, I always admired those who worked for the sake of doing a good job in their own eyes, rather than those whose focus was on recognition or year-end awards. This is not to say that there's anything wrong with entering competitions and enjoying a ribbon or a title. I'm just saying that it's not the only way to measure what you do with your dog. Training your dog to track is fun, even if you never enter a tracking test. Training agility is fun. Even if you never compete, even if your obstacles are makeshift rather than regulation, you can develop your dog's skills and your skills, and develop your relationship too. Sam wrote, "I guess I am so programed to do SOMETHING that the thought of doing nothing never even entered my little brain." My point (and I know Sam got it) is that just because you're not competing a dog doesn't mean you're "doing nothing" with him. The people who are happy and successful with border collie pets are doing plenty with them -- they're just doing stuff that THEY'VE set up to do, rather than doing stuff an organization has set up. I'm noting this because I think (I hope!) Sam will think it's funny that her background in competition caused her to describe people who are not competing as "doing nothing." I mean it in a good way, Sam. [This message has been edited by Eileen Stein (edited 08-29-2002).]
  24. I gotta say -- there is life for a dog outside of organized competition. If my dogs never saw another sheep, I'd find plenty of things to do with them, and none of it would involve the AKC, and it probably wouldn't involve competitive dogsports either. There's nothing wrong with border collies being companions to the right people. I can point to dozens of homes where border collies are happy as pets, doing all kinds of things with their happy owners. I know "pet" is a dirty word in some circles, but it's true all the same. But then, I grew up in the days when you played sandlot ball instead of little league, and kick the can instead of soccer league. Maybe nobody even thinks in terms of making things up on their own anymore.
  25. Hi Denise, You sound like a very responsible dog owner to me! Back when AKC first recognized the border collie, the USBCC wrestled with the question of what position we should take about future involvement with the AKC. Some people felt that to be consistent we should urge people not to get ILPs on their dogs, because to do so and to participate in AKC programs was supporting AKC, and therefore supporting an organization that is doing harm to our breed. In the end, though, we decided to draw the line at actual registration, and not to oppose ILPs for border collies. The main consideration was that, as you say, getting an ILP number on a neutered border collie does not affect the future makeup of the breed. We were also mindful that many people and dogs benefit a lot from participation in these programs, and it would be a hardship for them to give it up. I know many long-time border collie people who have refused to have contact with AKC in any way, shape or form following recognition, in some cases walking away from high-powered obedience careers, and while I admire them very much, I don't think it's reasonable to expect newer people to the breed to have that kind of intensity about it. As I said in the other thread you referred to, it's a slippery slope, and hard to know where to draw the line. Did we draw it in the right place? Sometimes I have second thoughts, but overall I think we did.
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