A WOMAN who docked the tails of eight one-day-old Rottweilers has been fined by magistrates in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales.
Emma Whatmough claimed she did not know the practice had been outlawed when she used scissors sterilised in hot water and was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £815.
It is understood to be the first case to be brought in Britain under the new Animal Welfare Act, which came into force in March.
Magistrates heard that Ms Whatmough had told an RSPCA inspector that after she cut their tails, the dogs had initially yelped until they were put back with their mother. All eight puppies and their mother later died of an unrelated illness.
The incident happened weeks after the new Animal Welfare Act was brought in, which states that only working dogs are exempt from the act, and even then the procedure must be done by a vet.
Magistrates decided that Ms Whatmough's deliberate actions had caused suffering to the puppies, but decided not to disqualify her from keeping animals in future as her dogs had otherwise been well cared for.