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DEFRA backs alliance plans for welfare bill

The Countryside Alliance, which has been calling for a thorough overhaul and consolidation of existing animal welfare legislation since before the last General Election, has welcomed the publication by DEFRA of outline plans on a new Animal Welfare Bill on the grounds that existing legislation is ‘piecemeal and incoherent’. A statement released this week reads:

‘The Alliance will be scrutinising proposed powers to make regulations to ban the docking of dogs' tails when they are published. It is pleased that DEFRA recognises that there are occasions when tail docking is necessary for welfare reasons, and supports the judgement of veterinary surgeons to decide whether docking is justified on a case by case basis in order to safeguard the welfare of dogs worked in dense cover or below ground.

‘The Alliance will also be studying the proposed regulations, when they are available, to ensure that tail docking can be undertaken prophylactically, in order to prevent injury for the full range of working breeds, rather than only after damage has occurred. Nigel Davenport, Director of the Countryside Alliance's Campaign for Shooting, said: "I am glad that the DEFRA have agreed with our response to their consultation and accepted the case for docking some working breeds.

‘In countries where tail docking has been prohibited there has been a signi- ficant increase in tail injuries amongst working dogs. Docking new born puppies, as carried out by qualified vets, does not cause undue suffering whereas tail injuries in adult gundogs are painful and slow to heal."

‘The Countryside Alliance looks forward to starting a dialogue with DEFRA on the regulation of pheasant rearing which has also been raised in relation to the proposed legislation.

The Alliance has produced a new vinyl car sticker to reflect the overwhelming success of the March. The sticker carries prominently the big number -


To view in full colour, go to
Please help reinforce the success of the March, and help with vital fundraising, by buying and displaying a sticker and encouaging your family and friends to do the same.

To obtain your vinyl sticker:- Simply send a donation of £1 or more* per sticker and, to save on administration and handling costs, a stamped address envelope (SAE), preferably big enough for the sticker(s) - standard folded A4/DL envelope will do fine.

Please send your donation and SAE to:- 407791 Sticker, Countryside Alliance, PO Box 313, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 2WA.

Cheques & Postal Orders should be made payable to Countryside Alliance. Coins should be taped onto a piece of cardboard. Please note that if no SAE is enclosed no stickers can be dispatched.