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Docking ban planned for Queensland

The Queensland Government plans to push for a national ban on the cosmetic tail docking of dogs at a meeting of Australian agriculture ministers in Brisbane next month, Primary Industries Minister Henry Palaszczuk told State Parliament.

"Queensland is a national leader in animal welfare and our laws are now regarded as among the most advanced in the world," Mr Palaszczuk said.

"The Queensland Government intends to show national leadership once again in implementing a national ban on the routine tail docking of dogs for cosmetic purposes."

"Tail docking is the practice of cutting short a puppy's tail, typically within a week of its birth. A number of breeds of dogs, including Boxers, Rottweilers and Dobermanns, have traditionally had their tails docked."

Mr Palaszczuk said the RSPCA, Australian Veterinary Association and animal welfare organisations have expressed their desire for tail docking to be banned by law.

"Dog breeders generally do not believe docking tails is cruel and some even believe that it is important to continue the long standing tradition of tail docking," he said.

Natural

"However, tail docking is not a mandatory requirement of any breed standard recognised by the Australian National Kennel Council. The breed standard allows tails to be left in a natural state for judging purposes."

Mr Palaszczuk said veterinarians would be permitted to remove damaged or diseased tails.
"It is important that there is a national approach for the ban to be effective," he said.

At the meeting of Agriculture Ministers last year, all Australian governments have given in-principle support for this ban. Only the Australian Capital Territory has so far enacted a ban.

Mr Palaszczuk said in Queensland, the ban would be under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 and the Government has already made the provision for this ban in the legislation.

"Queensland not only supports the ban, but we will be working to gather support from all States to ensure it is implemented nationally," he said.

It is understood that a number of Australian dog enthusiasts who favour docked breeds are seeking advice from the British Council of Docked Breeds.