The Council for Docked Breeds has expressed its disappointment that ‘common sense has not prevailed in Scotland’.
Peter Squires, its President said: ‘Once again, the voice of the people who know about dogs has not been taken seriously and MSP’s who know little or nothing about dogs have decided not to seek scientific advice, but have succumbed to the hysterical claims of those opposed to docking’.
During the stage 3 consideration of the Animal Health & Welfare (Scotland) Bill on Wednesday 31 May, MSP’s voted to ban tail docking for all dogs. Unlike in England and Wales it does not allow an exemption for gundogs and other working animals. Ministers had proposed making working dogs exempt from the new law as in England and Wales, but changed their minds after pressure from veterinary organisations.
A majority of MSPs also backed an amendment in Environment Minister Ross Finnie's name, forbidding anyone from taking a dog out of Scotland to have the procedure carried out.
Rhona Brankin, deputy environment minister, said: ‘I do not believe that an exemption should be made for working dogs, but if those who are arguing for an exemption are able to present persuasive evidence supporting their case, then that would be given full consideration in framing the extent of exemptions’.
Mr Squires asked: ‘If it is not cruel to dock working dogs, how can it be cruel to dock any other of the currently docked breeds? The Scottish MP’s appear to be as blinkered as those in Westminster who are considering a similar course of action’.
Exemptions could still be included in the relevant section of the bill and these will be brought before the Scottish parliament. Section 18 will not be enacted until the regulations allowing exemptions have been drafted, consulted on and approved by parliament. This means that no final decision will be taken on the tail docking of dogs until the regulations are completed.
For further information please contact Ginette Elliott on 01255 830993
or Peter Squires on 01945 780807