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New Zealand KC clarifies docking situation

DOCKING IN New Zealand continues to hit the headlines, despite the fact that the decision by the Government has not yet reached a conclusion.

Reports published in Dog News Australia confirmed that the Government had passed a law to protect the right of breeders to have their traditionally docked breeds’ tails removed at a very early age.

However, it now seems that this information - which caused many in the UK to push for docking rights again over here - had been leaked prior to any confirmation, and was in fact innacurate.
Philip Lyth, Manager Community Relations at the New Zealand Kennel Club spoke exclusively to Our Dogs to set the record straight, he told us: ‘ The New Zealand Kennel Club advises that our Government has not approved tail docking, nor did our Chief Executive Brian Priest make the statements attributed to him in the story you carried.

‘When the highly inaccurate report first appeared in the monthly Dog News Australia we immediately took the matter up and a correction will appear in their August issue. They failed to follow a basic tenet of journalism, to check their facts before printing. Had they contacted us to do so we would have put the record straight.

Code of welfare

‘Over several years, a group with representation from virtually all groups interested in dogs in New Zealand had drafted a ‘code of welfare for dogs’. New Zealand Kennel Club was represented. Then, following the process laid down in NZ’s Animal Welfare Act, the draft was submitted to the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee which advises the Minister of Agriculture. NAWAC then advertised for public submissions and has been considering those.
‘It is understood that NAWAC is very close to sending the Code of Welfare to the Minister of Agriculture for signature, the final step to approve the Code and bring it into force.

‘Throughout the process, New Zealand Kennel Club has kept breeders informed through articles and news in our magazine, NZ Dog World, and by email/website updates. We have called on people to inform themselves and make submissions, and given guidance and suggestions. We acknowledge the work of the NZ Council of Docked Breeds.

‘We have vigorously represented the interest of our members, not just for freedom of choice to dock, but on many other aspects of canine welfare. The combined efforts of many good people has resulted in the defeat of a private members bill at Parliament which would have outright banned the practice, and has influenced the development of the Code of Welfare.

‘We are hopeful that the Code of Welfare will result an appropriate outcome on docking, and in all areas of caring for man’s best friend.’

We will bring more news of this story as soon as we hear it.

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