THE FIRST stage of the debate on the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Bill took place late Thursday (February 23rd) in the Scottish Parliament. Two amendments to the Bill were proposed earlier in the week by the Executive banning tail-docking and increasing penalties on organisers of dog fights. By the end of the bill’s passage the docking question may be settled one way or the other after strong lobbying from both sides.
On Thursday the Kennel Club, (KC) voiced its concern at the docking ban. Whilst anti-docking group Advocates for Animals pronounced its delight at the last minute proposal for a complete ban.
A ban on cosmetic tail docking is strongly supported by animal welfare organisations and the major veterinary bodies.
Last month The British Veterinary Association (BVA), reported a MORI poll showing that just 8% of the British public supports the docking of dogs' tails for cosmetic reasons, while 75% is opposed to the practice.
The result has implications for the Animal Welfare Bill [England and Wales (& Scotland)]. Unless the same law is applied in England the proposed rules would be difficult to enforce because dog owners could simply travel south of the border to have tails docked.