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KC questions Scottish tail docking plans

CONCERNS REGARDING a potential blanket ban on tail docking in Scotland have accelerated since the Scottish Executive confirmed in its report on aspects of the Scottish Animal Health and Welfare Bill that it has decided to impose a total ban on the tail docking of all dogs, with no exemptions, the Kennel Club reported last week.

In its report, prior to the final parliamentary debate on the Bill, the Scottish Executive claims that an exemption from the ban for Working Gundogs would be difficult to enforce, but then later contradicts itself by admitting that it would be possible to create an exemption for Working Gundogs if there was an increase in tail injuries.

In a KC survey over 98% of 763 working gundogs were docked. Of those undocked, a high proportion suffered tail damage says the club. 75% of Clumber Spaniels, 20% of English Springer Spaniels and 25% of Hungarian Wirehaired Vizslas.

Four years ago, the Metropolitan Police Dog Training School reported that in 2001, four undocked dogs needed to have a full amputation and 1 partially amputated tail needed full amputation and between January and May 2002, a further four undocked dogs needed to have a full amputation, due to damage suffered in the course of their work.