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Fila Brasileiros Explained!
[This is an excerpt of an article by Christofer Habig appearing in the first issue of the Molosser Magazine in 1981]
Whoever decides in the Fila Brasilerio as a house companion, and thereby on somewhat of a rare breed for Germany, will certainly not be indifferent to the situation of this breed in it's homecountry.
Therefore, what's the situation look like at present? Unfortunately the situation of the Fila in Brasil is still being burdened with the destructive activities of those breeders who are crossing Filas with Mastiffs. Great Danes. and Mastini Napoletani. And thereby trying to alter the unique type or style of the Fila. And, there are notably more of these breeders than some people here would like to imagine. Naturally, falsifications exist with many breeds and in many different countries of the world, but with the Fila Brasileiro in Brasil it has become, in the meantime, a fundamental problem concerning the preservation of the original and unadulterated type of this breed. The "Filas" one can outwardly recognize as mongrels do not even represent the principal offense here, although the public is being offered a totally fraudulent image of the breed with these dogs. That is serious, because many people do not know what a pure true Fila Brasileiro looks like, and for that reason, wouldn't recognize a Fila bastard if it were sitting before them. Therefore, the judges must take a firm course. The responsible Fila Authority will have no problem in keeping these obviously cross-breed dogs out of his kennel, thereby avoiding any unclean lineage. The real tragedy lies in the fact that, eventually, the entire breed will become contaminated. Then how could one know if a quite good looking Fila carried the blood of another breed? And for our part, to be absolutely sure would mean having a good knowledge of all the different kennels and lines in Brasil, which is by no means an easy task.
These, anything but serious, "breeders' in Brasil have been going about their scandalous business since the middle 70's and have even succeeded in achieving a whole list of saddening results.
Not only are they contaminating blood-lines with strange influences, and by so doing, creating for the Fila totally atypical and strange features in appearance, as well as temperament, but they also show these dogs at exhibitions, where they have actually found judges and other functionaries who will take part in this tragedy. Therefore, being successful at an exhibition, or winning a champion title is for the Brasilian Fila Authority not nearly a guarantee of having a pure typical Fila before you. In addition to this, the financially powerful "Mongrel Breeders" have busied the entire Brasilian dogdom with this problem and aroused a wide public discussion over these matters. One must realize, that in Brasil there is no such thing as breeder-control, as we understand it in Germany. And for that reason it is practically impossible to prevent these Fila-bastards from getting pedigree papers like all the other Filas.
Which means that the Fila experts are forced to wait for a dog to be shown publically before they can say whether or not it if a true Fila.
It is also peculiar, that there has been no notable court proceedings against these fraudulent dogs as yet, which goes to show that the breeders of these dogs obviously know there way around in such affairs. They're not concerned with the Fila Brasileiro, they're concerned only with the money. Remember, the Fila has become very popular in Brasil. Dr. Paulo Santos Cruz, whose name may be familiar to our readers as the founder and "father" of the Fila Brasileiro, as well as experts of his school and a large number of other Brasilian cynologists from various branches of the dog-organisation, have energetically committed themselves to the preservation of this breed ever since the problem became publically known. A great part of the Brasilian press, as well as some of the politicians have also taken up the cry and joined in the fight to preserve this fine and brave breed.
The fact is, there was never any reason to secretly cross-breed the Fila with other breeds. There was, also, never a lack of good stock. The emergency situation was bureaucratically produced, because the "Registro Initial", the register, was closed, and that without any rational excuse. And because of this, many true Filas for example on the farms of Minas Gerai's will never be registered, thereby maliciously breaking off the excellent work of Dr. Cruz. The mongrel-breeders then took this artificially produced emergency situation as reason enough for supplementing the breed with strange bloodlines, which factually means, the attempt to adulterate it.
For the serious Fila-Authority it's a matter of preserving the only surviving brasilian breed, which simply may not be altered in type or temperament, and for that reason have set a worldwide campaign in motion.
As far as the German discussion of this problem is concerned, I'm relieved to announce that as early as February 1979, I contributed to this discussion with an article in "Unser Rassehund" the German Dog-Magazine. This report dealt with the well-known Fila-expert, Francisco Peltier de Queiroz' visit here in Germany, This man has contributed so much to the disclosure of these underhanded activities in Brasil to the world. As few months later, in October 1979, I was able to contribute yet another short article titled "An Appeal to the Protection of the Fila", which was published in a number of different countries. Through these, and many other efforts this discussion was made generally public, thereby making it that much more difficult that the true Fila Brasileiro be underhandedly altered .
Our international magazine, which is read in Australia as well as England and the U.S.A., has also committed itself to the protection of the Fila. Unfortunately though, such moral and cynological commitment has of late become somewhat unpopular. Especially with those persons who would rather be in good standing with these mafia-like groups in Brasil, who are responsible for this cross-breeding, rather than speaking out over the injustices. Some people would rather be on the side of the powerful. The MOLOSSER- MAGAZIN would rather take sides with justice and seriousness. Then again, some people are of the opinion that he who dirties the nest is less of an evil than he who loudly declares that the nest is dirty. Especially we Germans are connected with such a disastrous posture, and often rightly. But this attitude or posture has especially, too, found favor among certain dishonorable functionaries and Fila-"breeders" in Brasil.
But, dear reader, let us now proceed to the more agreeable matters. In response to the activities of these mongrel-breeders, the CAFIB was created - Club do Aprimoramento do Fila Brasileiro - in which Dr Paulo Santos Cruz and other Fila experts are working for the preservation of this breed.
In early 1980, the Brasilian Ministry of Agriculture, which is responsible for all matters concerning dogs and dogdom, decided in a special hearing to give to the CAFIB the exclusive rights in organizing a special-observer office for the breeding of the Fila Brasileiro, as well as sole control over the stud- book of Brasil. This resolution was published in the DIARIO OFICIAL, the official bulletin of the Brasilian government, on April 28, 1980. Unfortunately, through the immediate turbulence that set into the dogdom following this resolution, the situation in Brasil became again somewhat unclear.
But, for all that, there is still at least one more agency in Brasil, which clearly states how these conditions are to be judged. Also abroad, for example here in Germany, no one should let himself be distracted from the importance of this problem or let it be played down, but rather look the thing squarely in the face. Namely this; some people are breeding Fila bastards, and thereby, endangering the breed, while others, for example the founder of the breed, Dr. Paulo Santos Cruz, work towards it's preservation.
In this copy of the MOLOSSER- MAGAZIN our Brasilian correspondent Carlos Feijo de Carvalho, Fila breeder and member of BKC organizations will start an introduction to the Brasilian Dogdom, which will clearly reflect the commitment to their cause with which the Fila specialists are working. This article will document the fact that, in the eyes of the honorable Fila-enthusiasts in Brasil, the preservation of their national breed means much more to them than merely protecting the population of a dog-breed - rather the cultural value of a nation is at stake. However unusual that may sound to our ears, never-the-less does not mean that we can overlook the fact that we must absolutely prevent any alterations of the Fila towards commercializaton! Which definately, wouldn't be the first time that such a goal with other breeds in other countries was simply given up. That should at least make us think!
I am pleased to announce, as publisher, that this article will in a very short time appear in Finland as well