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Scotland’s vets to be lobbied over docking ban

THOUSANDS OF vets in Scotland will be lobbied over the next few months in a bid to fight the proposed ban on docking working dogs.

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) is working with other organisations, vets and members across Scotland to contact every vet in Scotland to gather veterinary evidence in support of docking working dogs.

The Animal Health & Welfare (Scotland) Act has now been approved by the Scottish Parliament and a total ban on tail docking is likely to be enforced from March 2007 unless the BASC, Council of Docked Breeds and other organisations, such as the Scottish Kennel Club can gain an exemption for working dogs

A further consultation on permitted procedures under the Bill begins in October, so representations will be made at this time.

As matters stand, under the Animal Welfare Bill for England and Wales, an exemption exists whereby working dogs can be docked. However, the Scottish AHW Bill not only offers no exemption, but also contains the clause that Scottish dogs cannot be docked in England or Wales – which opens up a potential viper’s nest of legal challenges under the freedom of the individual.

BASC's Director for Scotland, Dr Colin Shedden, said: ‘Any vets or dog owners who have experienced the problems caused by un-docked tails should get in touch immediately. It is vital that we collect as much veterinary evidence as possible before the consultation starts in October so we can fight this ban.’