THE KENNEL Club expressed its disappointment at the result of the Scottish Parliament’s vote in a press release issued earlier this week which read as follows:
‘The Kennel Club is frustrated by the Scottish Executive’s decision not to exempt tail docking for Working Gundogs from the Mutilations clause of the Bill as it has evidence to suggest that this will increase the amount of tail injuries suffered by Working Gundogs. However the Kennel Club accepts that no final decision on this will be made until the regulations are completed. The Kennel Club will therefore continue to lobby the Scottish Executive to introduce exemptions for a tail-docking ban in the future.
‘Prior to the vote, the Kennel Club worked hard to inform MSPs of the need for a ban on tail docking to exempt Working Gundogs and it was clear from the debate and the outcome of the vote that many MSPs sympathised with the Kennel Club’s position. Ted Brocklebank MSP even stated: "I believe that the minister's decision is perverse and misguided and could inflict unnecessary pain and suffering on working dogs". The Kennel Club agrees with his sentiment and is disappointed that ultimately most MSPs voted with the Minister, against including this exemption on the face of the Bill.
‘Despite the outcome of the vote no FINAL decision will be taken on this until the regulations are completed (after the Bill has passed). While most MSPs were clearly against including such an exemption on the face of the Bill, the Kennel Club will fight for this inclusion in the regulations.
‘On a more positive note, the Kennel Club is grateful that members of the House of Lords listened to its concerns and agreed with the need for an exemption for Working Gundogs from a ban on tail docking to be included on the face of the Bill in Westminster.
‘Unfortunately, the Kennel Club drafted amendment, tabled by Lord Laird, to exempt the showing ban from the Tail Docking clause of the Bill was not called at the Grand Committee Stage debate.
This means that despite the support demonstrated at the Lords Second Reading debate for the showing of Working Gundogs to be allowed to continue, the ban has remained on the face of the Bill.
‘Kennel Club Secretary Caroline Kisko said: "Despite the fact that both the Westminster and Scottish Parliaments have long made it clear to the Kennel Club that a ban on tail docking is forthcoming, the Kennel Club is heartened that at least some common-sense and an understanding of rural matters has prevailed south of the border.
It is however a great shame that even those dogs docked legally in England will be banned from the show ring at events where the public pay to enter. The Kennel Club is extremely saddened and disappointed that this decision will likely mark the demise of the dual-purpose dog.’