We decided to stop the activity on Clean genealogy and I will share the reasons here because it is important information if you love traditional Siberians.
The idea was to teach breeders the best way to work based on health guidelines and genetic diversity, with beautiful traditional lines and avoiding those lines that have been severely mixed with NEM cats.
We did our VERY best in every way, we invited many important geneticists to speak at the group, and we were present daily providing guidance in the best way possible and trying to get people to work together.
We helped provide information about the breed and past foundations cats and also helped people to make their matches and plans. Health and genetics advice was provided by the best professionals around. All the work is resumed on this public website.
Public because we are generous and want to share with other breeders our knowledge because we simply love Siberians.
Despite all the efforts, Clean Genealogy was a mistake, but why?
Most of the cats are great and most of the work done was valuable but here are the main problems we encountered:
1- People doing things they wouldn’t have done normally to obtain “clean cats”: Heavy inbreeding. Inbreeding for type to sort out poor looks from foundation, inbreeding for clean, any sort of inbreeding will most certainly bring some sort of problem or pathology. It is fact.
We never encouraged heavy inbreeding at clean genealogy.
Buying “foundations cats” that people know nothing or very little about and many from similar areas in order to get clean cats.
There is here on the website, one page about working with foundations cats that you can read if you are interested in the subject. Serious work with foundations requires documenting, testing and observing for a long time and only a few excellent subjects from different areas should be brought in per year or in a certain time frame into the breed or even smaller quantities in a restricted group effort.
We also noticed that people ended up copying lines we picked to work with without knowing our goals or the weak point in those lines, our goals in choosing certain cats.
So we end up with many breeders trying to get similar cats without knowing the purpose we had when we bought them.
Some of these “rare” lines, turned out to bring potential dangers or high inbreeding. There was no way to stop this since there is competition in the field and we were perceived as “cool” and people wanted to have similar cats when some of these rare lines, were actually already at the end of what they could offer of positive and some even dangerous if worked by people who didn’t know exactly what they were buying which unfortunately was often the case.
Rare doesn’t always mean good or interesting/positive for the breed. We never encouraged “group 1” cats, for example, we explained how to make the best out of them but some of these lines were already in difficulty and people bought without knowing what they were doing just to have “cool group 1” cats. This wasn’t our goal.
Breeders start to have an idea of the basics of Siberian bloodlines after 5 years of working actively if they were lucky enough to get a good mentor and after 10 years of solid work, it is possible to say you start getting to know the Siberian lines and start knowing the results of your OWN work. So any breeder lacking experience and without adequate guidance, should not be working with such cats.
2- We were confronted with all those “human nature” problems like ego battles, pettiness, lies, ungratefulness, hidden information, and people who would not send results to Pawpeds and hide results. All these bad sides of human nature and no matter the effort you put into teaching people, ultimately they do what they want to do and not always with the best interest of the breed in mind.
There was also good and I hope we could help many people with the meetings we had with Lorraine Shelton, the most gracious cat breeder and geneticist EVER and Ambra Mari who also helped us graciously with precious information, I thank them so much for being so generous with us.
We managed to get some great cats and also work on many issues like defects and challenging diseases like FIP that many of us managed to control. Many of us also achieved great work results and used ALL the information in the best way possible and this is so positive and truly heartwarming.
The two most important things I have to say here are:
First: As breeders we chose, all the “ingredients” we want to add to the main “soup”. This precious soup is the “Siberian gene pool”. Each individual move and each breeder’s choice will have consequences in one way or another. At the present moment or later.
We must choose our breeding cats wisely and respectfully because every move will have consequences for the breed as a whole and its future. It is our job to act responsibly and try to carry on learning constantly. Even learning from our own mistakes.
Second: If you wish to carry on breeding Clean CATS, act with COMMON SENSE. It is better to use a healthy group 3 that brings diversity than pushing for group 2 with an inbred cat or with “rare” lines that may represent a risk.
If you are asking yourself “How about group 4 cats?”. Certain group 4 cats are good and the fact there is a couple of nem way back behind, genetically speaking, it won’t be harmful and you can carry on with traditional lines only.
However if we chose clean lines to start, it was a question of ethics and principle since we never agreed with NEM mixing., We wanted and were/are still for some of us, ready to work hard since WE HAVE GREAT cats and make it possible without nem but we never intended to make any sacrifices “to obtain” clean at any cost.
Many moves were made without our encouragement or knowledge.
About group 4 cats: I mean the ones that are still traditional (some nem behind but a traditional breeding program). These lines are not doing any better than our clean lines in terms of health or even type but this compromise between “the breeder real possibilities”, “diversity” and “risk assessment” should be taken into consideration to avoid “bad moves” in the name of Clean cats.
Go for clean if you can do it with no major sacrifices in terms of diversity and your own means.
Therefore my advice is to carry on breeding clean keeping in mind ALL that was mentioned above about health and diversity.
As for a question of principle and because I can carry on comfortably my breeding program (because of my own goals and personal efforts), I will carry on breeding clean cats.
There will be no secondary group and I am not mentoring any longer.
Same for Onofre.
I will offer advice if I have the time and I hope this website can help many others.
The website will be updated with more information and stats and will still be available.
Thank you all for your attention.
Daniela Barros and Onofre Martinez.