Move to reintroduce tail docking slammed by campaigners


​Scottish Government plans to allow tail docking of specific breeds 

21st April 2017 by Robert Armour 3 Comments

A leading animal protection charity is urging the Scottish Government not to reintroduce tail-docking for working dogs in Scotland.

The Scottish Government announced plans last year which will allow the tails of spaniel and hunt point retriever puppies to be docked where vets believe the dog will be a working dog in the future, and could injure itself in later life.

The announcement came nine years after Scotland became the only country in the UK to ban tail-docking for all puppies.

Libby Anderson, policy advisor of OneKind, said: “OneKind sees this proposal as a step back in time – we understand that tail injuries to adult dogs are a real welfare concern, but to address the problem by cutting off puppies’ tails is outmoded and unjustifiable. 

"Research carried out for the Scottish Government indicated that to prevent the amputation of one adult spaniel’s tail due to injury, 320 Spaniel puppies would have to be docked when only a few days old. That is simply disproportionate.”

OneKind recently published a report titled A step back in time? The Scottish Government proposal to reintroduce tail-docking which looks at the evidence base behind the tail-docking ban.

The procedure involves the cutting or crushing of skin, muscles, and up to seven pairs of nerves, bones and cartilage.

It’s done without any pain relief with camapigners saying that puppies experience extreme pain when they have the procedure done.

Many dogs will also suffer lifelong behavioural problems as a result of having their tails cut off, they say. 

Under the new proposals, vets will be allowed to dock tails to a maximum of one third in length for puppies that are not more than five days old, when they have sufficient evidence that the dogs will be used for working purposes in the future.

Anderson continued: “It used to be thought that new-born animals, including humans, did not feel pain. We now know that is untrue and of course puppies suffer when their tails are cut off. 

"OneKind is confident that very few vets in Scotland, if any, will be prepared to carry out this mutilation.”

21st April 2017 by ELAINE WING

This is cruel and barbaric... Why change the law to hurt and be cruel to these helpless animals? Most puppies do not end up being working dogs..... DO NOT RECERSE THIS LAW...I AM SPEAKING UP FOR THOUSANDS OF PUPPIES THAT WILL BE TORTURED NEEDLESSLEY

21st April 2017 by Carol Miller

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO, how often do we have to say this is a barbaric action put in place for absolutely no reason and the only outcome is torture and lifelong pain for these poor babies!! This is HUMAN intervention, if God intended these babies to have no tails they would have been born that way, PLEASE don't condemn any more babies to this horrific toeture

21st April 2017 by ADA

This would be a retrograde step bringing the law into disrepute. The many research papers done in recent years do not bear out the need to amend the current legislation on the non-docking of working dog breeds. In England puppies not being worked or bred for working are still being docked because of weak legislation (especially Spaniels of all types). Any revision of the law would only be regarded as a result of political pressure from a small minority with vested interests in field "sports". Breeders should have been breeding for better tail sets and lengths since the law was imposed.