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CDB slams Government ‘hypocrisy’

THE COUNCIL For Docked Breeds has slammed the government for what it calls ‘a most audacious display of hypocrisy’ after an apparent u-turn on the policy relating to tail docking.

In their strongly worded statement, the CDB singled out DEFRA minister, Ben Bradshaw, for not standing up for his beliefs and bowing to pressure from his peers as well as the peers in the house of Lords.

The CDB statement reads: ‘Following the enactment of the Animal Welfare Act, the Department of Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has released The Consultation on Mutilations (permitted Procedures) (England) Regulations and the Docking of Working Dogs Tails (England) Regulations.

In the opinion of the Council of Docked Breeds this consultation is asking Westminster to further support the three H's - Hypocrisy, Hypocrisy, Hypocrisy. It is the CDB’s contention that the whole issue of a ban on tail docking and the so-called ‘exemption’ for working dogs smacks of incompetence and inconsistency as well as hypocrisy.

‘The first display of hypocrisy was displayed when Ben Bradshaw who had announced that he ‘wanted the status quo to remain for tail docking’, then meekly allowed the Parliamentary Standing Committee to ignore the results of three years of consultations and to promote a total ban on tail docking without once standing up for or even mentioning his previous position.

‘The second display of hypocrisy was displayed when MPs voted to ban tail docking of dogs unless they were likely to be worked. They imply that it is not cruel to dock a dog likely to be worked, but is cruel to dock the majority of breeds that are currently docked, many of which are just as likely to damage long tails in a domestic and non-working environment as are working dogs.

‘The third and most audacious display of hypocrisy is the new consultation from DEFRA. Whilst again promoting the acceptance of tail docking for working dogs, it adds the following mutilations to be acceptable, many of which it agrees are painful:

‘Cattle, sheep and goats may be castrated by the application of a rubber band if the animal is aged 7 days or under; Horses may be hot branded for identification purposes; feral cats may have their ears ‘tipped’ for identification purposes; Cattle, sheep and goats may be dehorned; Pigs may have their teeth reduced; Poultry may have their beaks trimmed and their feet de-toed; Most hypocritically of all, pigs and sheep may continue to have their tails docked’

Peter Squires, CDB Chairman commented: ‘It would seem from the government’s own consultation document that we can continue to ‘dock or mutilate’ the animals listed above, but not the hundreds of thousands of puppies of the currently docked dog breeds on so-called ‘welfare grounds’.

’Perhaps a new definition of hypocrisy will be passed in future Government legislation.’