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Online Docking petition launched

A NEW e-petition has been launched on the official 10 Downing Street website in favour of the docking of dog’s tails.

The petition was instigated by Wendy Brooks of Jinnybrux Boxers, calling upon the Government to allow the banding of puppies’ tails for docking purposes to continue, rather than be subjected to the ban due to be implemented when the Animal Welfare Act becomes law on April7th. As previously reported, the Act contains an exemption for working dogs to be docked in England, but the procedure will be outlawed for all other non-working dogs of customarily docked breeds.

The petition reads: ‘We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to allow breeders of puppies to band tails of puppies, in the same way that farmers are allowed to band tails of lambs.

‘As there is a proposed docking ban (the shortening of puppies tails by cutting), an alternative is to band the tails by using the same method that farmers are allowed to use in order to shorten lamb's tails. Breeder's should be given permission to have the freedom of choice to perform this if they believe it will prevent future possibility of tail damage.This to apply to all currently traditionally docked breeds.’

The petition runs until April 6th, the day before the AWA becomes law. It was started on Friday February 23rd and as of Tuesday lunchtime this week had gained 1,900 signatures.

Wendy told OUR DOGS: ‘I have even had breeders in non-docked breeds contact me to say they have signed it, as they believe we should keep the 'freedom of choice'.

‘I urge every dog owner to sign the petition, as the proposed law will not only cause serious welfare problems for customarily docked dogs who will injure their tails, but it is also an assault on our civil liberties by people who have no idea of the facts involved.’

Wendy was also instrumental in organising a debate at Lincoln University on Tuesday evening this week. The motion for debate was: 'This house believes that the prophylactic docking of dog's tails is justified on animal welfare grounds'.

Wendy added: ‘There are to be three speakers from each 'side' (anti and pro-docking). I am one of the speakers. We have to each speak for approximately 8 minutes each and then the debate it is open to the floor.

‘One of the other pro-docking speaker the debate is a 90 year old retired vet. The group 'Vets 4 Docking' told me that, as the RSPCA and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons are itching to prosecute another vet for docking dogs, no practicing vet dare speak! Whatever happened to 'freedom of speech'? It’s a very sad state of affairs.’

It is believed that former TV vet Emma Milne will be appearing to speak for the anti-docking motion.

The University has been obliged to install a video link to the main hall, as the debate is so popular they were unable to accommodate everyone in the main hall.

The docking petition may be found at: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Banding-tails/#detail