A leading animal welfare charity claims a decision by MSPs to vote in favour of reintroducing tail-docking for working dogs has failed Scotland’s dogs.
MSPs in the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee voted by 7 to 3 in favour of reintroducing tail-docking at a meeting this afternoon. Green MSP Mark Ruskell opposed the changes, as did Labour’s Claudia Beamish and David Stewart. Today’s decision comes 10 years after Scotland introduced a ban on tail-docking of all dogs in Scotland in 2007
The announcement will mean that the tails of Spaniel and Hunt Point Retriever puppies can be docked 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.
Sarah Moyes, OneKind Campaigner, said:
“We are extremely disappointed by today’s decision by the majority of MSPs in the ECCLR Committee to support the reintroduction of tail-docking for working dogs in Scotland, and are worried about the effect this will have on the welfare of dogs across the country.
Evidence has shown that puppies experience acute pain when their tails are docked and today’s decision will lead to hundreds of dogs having to undergo this unnecessary and painful procedure”
The procedure of tail-docking 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; therefore, 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.
Sarah Moyes continued:
“Scotland led the UK by introducing a full tail-docking ban for puppies in 2007 and it has been a great success. Today’s decision is simply a huge step back in time, and goes against the opinion of veterinary organisations, animal welfare groups and the public.
We understand that tail injuries to adult dogs is a serious welfare concern, but cutting off puppies’ tails cannot be justified. “
Notes to editor:
1. OneKind is a UK-wide animal protection charity based in Scotland working to end animal suffering through campaigns, research and education.
2. OneKind’s report A step back in time? The Scottish Government proposal to reintroduce tail-docking can be read here.