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Dogs Trust deeply saddened by reintroduction of tail docking in Scotland

Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, is extremely disappointed that MSPs on the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee (ECCLR) have today voted to reintroduce the painful procedure of tail docking for certain breeds of dogs in Scotland (Tuesday 13 June).

The new legislation on tail docking would see spaniel or hunt point retriever puppies less than five days old have the end third of their tails amputated, with no anaesthetic or pain relief, where there is a chance that they may become working dogs.

The legalisation of the practice goes against the will of the Scottish people; a 2016 opinion poll of the Scottish public, carried out by YouGov on behalf of a coalition of animal welfare charities, showed 71% of those polled believed the ban on docking puppies’ tails should be maintained for all dogs*.

Dogs Trust’s Deputy Veterinary Director, Runa Hanaghan, who gave evidence to the ECCLR committee on Dogs Trust’s position against tail docking, comments:

"Tail docking involves severing through bone, nerve, muscle, and connective tissue when pups are less than 5 days old, at which point it is very difficult to guarantee they will go on to be working dogs.

“Dogs Trust is deeply saddened that the Scottish Government is planning on re-introducing this outdated and unnecessary practice. Sadly today we’ve seen a significant step backwards for animal welfare from a country who once led the way.”

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