The Anti-Docking Alliance 

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The Campaign Against the Docking of Dogs' Tails

 

About us - Our Mission Statement

The Anti-Docking Alliance (A.D.A.) was formed in 2000 to press for a complete ban on non-therapeutic tail-docking in dogs, i.e. any docking that is not to treat a disease or injury for which amputation of the dog's tail would be the best treatment.
The ADA is run as an unincorporated association by a small committee of volunteers, together with an honorary committee.

The docking of dogs' tails in only certain breeds has been considered a tradition.   Many reasons have been cited for docking dogs' tails (such as rabies prevention; to avoid a dog tax for working dogs; to stop dogs being able to turn direction quickly; to prevent injury) but the most plausible and likely one is that of  cosmetic preference.
   
There are about 60 breeds of dogs that were being docked in the UK prior to April 2007 when a ban was put in place; mainly puppies of breeders who exhibit in the show ring . 
    The previous UK law (amended 1991) made it illegal for a "lay" person - that included breeders (i.e. someone who is not a Veterinary Surgeon) to dock puppies' tails. A Veterinarian could only dock for 'therapeutic or truly prophylactic (preventative) reasons. 
  In 2004, 88,600+ puppies of the docked breeds were registered by the UK Kennel Club; despite the RCVS's ethical stance only a very small proportion of these would not have been docked.  The Kennel Club did not bring in tail standards for the docked breeds when the 1993 ban on docking by lay persons came into force.  They only did so when dogs from countries where docking is banned were able to come (without quarantine) to compete in the UK as a result of the Pet Passport legislation (2001).
   The Anti-Docking Alliance was formed because it was evident that the practice of docking dogs' tails had not ceased as was hoped would be the result of the 1991 revised Law. At about this time the Council of/for Docked Breeds was created opposing any change in the custom of docking these breeds. They maintained that it is a welfare issue and that breeders should be able to choose to dock these breeds.
     A.D.A. maintained that these breeds were currently being mutilated solely for cosmetic reasons. On this basis that it was a welfare issue . One could not say that a whole litter of puppies of certain breeds only were being docked for prophylactic reasons. There was no reason to suppose that any one of those puppies might have had a tail/leg/ear injury later in life for which an appendage needed to be chopped off at such an early age (3 to 5 days) just in case! (Imagine a Labrador puppy without its tail).
    Therapeutic docking is perfectly acceptable as it is assumed that this would only be done if there were a disease or an injury sustained which cannot be treated or repaired by other than amputation under anaesthetic.
   Docking has been performed either by elastic banding (the tail rots away until it drops off) and is prone to gangrene, infection, complications, death and is not free from pain.  Or, the other method more commonly used by Vets. who still dock is usually performed without anaesthetic and is done by cutting and possible stitching.  This method is also painful and can lead to infection, haemorrhage and death.  (see Wansbrough and AWSELVA - Pain)
   The following countries have banned docking, ear cropping etc. and appropriate countries have signed up to the Council of Europe's Convention for the Welfare of Pet Animals: AUSTRALIA  - 2004
AUSTRIA - 2005
BELGIUM -2006
CYPRUS - 1991
DENMARK - 1991 DENMARK - 2005 DENMARK - Docked dogs can no longer be shown
ESTONIA - 2001
FINLAND - 1996  FINLAND has banned all dogs with docked tails or cropped ears from competing in dog shows, as they were concerned that exhibitors may try to bend the rules by exporting their stock to countries where docking is still allowed, and then re-importing them to show.  This closes the loophole in a country which has benned docking and cropping.
GERMANY signed 1989 and ratified 1998 Latest from Germany In accordance with the "Tierschutz-Hundeverordnung" (animal protection dog regulations) from 1st May 2002 the following dogs will be banned from participating at dog shows both at home and abroad:
1. Ears cropped after 01.01.1987
2. Tails cropped after 01.06.87 (exception: dogs used for hunting in accordance with German law for the protection of animals)
3. The ban is not enforced in exceptional cases if a medical indication is known, the corresponding certification must be enclosed together with the entry.

ICELAND - 2001
ISRAEL (6/01) Legislation under the "Cruelty to Animals (Animal Protection) Law" has recently amended by the addition of a ban on the performance of surgical procedures in animal tissue "for cosmetic purposes". The ban includes the docking of tails or cutting of ears in dogs. http://www.israelembassy.org.uk/web/pages/newlegis.htm
LUXEMBOURG - 1991
NETHERLANDS - 2000
NORWAY - 1987
SWEDEN 1988 and ratified 1992
SWITZERLAND banned docking in 1997 and currently only docked dogs over 5 months old can  be imported into Switzerland.
SOUTH AFRICA - from 2007 Vets will not be permitted to dock.  This has been postponed to June 2008 for administrative reasons.
UNITED KINGDOM - England wef 6th April 2007,  - excluding therapeutic and for certain truly working breeds governed by regulation  .  Dogs born after 6th April 2007 cannot be shown with docked tails at public fee paying shows in England and Wales but can be in Scotland.
UNITED KINGDOM - Wales wef 28th March 2007 - excluding therapeutic and for certain truly working breeds governed by regulation (see below).  Dogs born after 6th April 2007 cannot be shown with docked tails at public fee paying shows in England and Wales but can be in Scotland.
UNITED KINGDOM - Scotland wef 30th April, 2007. They cannot be taken across borders to be docked.  Dogs in whelp taken across borders could be subject to the Council Regulation (EC) no 1/2005. 
UNITED KINGDOM - N. Ireland - still under consultation.  The Amended 1991 Veterinary Surgeons' Act prevails meanwhile
VIRGIN ISLANDS 6/5/2005  - The V.I. Senate overrode the veto of the  Senate's version of the legislation yesterday. This means that docking ears and tails is considered first-degree animal abuse. Because this was a veto override, it automatically becomes law.
TURIN & ROME (plus compulsory dog walking)
The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association believes that cosmetic surgery is unnecessary. Surgical alterations in cases of injury or for reasons of health are not considered cosmetic. Examples of cosmetic procedures include:
1.   Tail docking in the equine, bovine, or canine species;
2.   Tail nicking/setting in the equine species;
3.   Ear cropping in the canine species; and
4.   Onychectomy in species other than the domestic cat.
CANADA - The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association believes that cosmetic surgery is unnecessary. Surgical alterations in cases of injury or for reasons of health are not considered cosmetic. Examples of cosmetic procedures include:
1.   Tail docking in the equine, bovine, or canine species;
2.   Tail nicking/setting in the equine species;
3.   Ear cropping in the canine species; and
4.   Onychectomy in species other than the domestic cat.
The CVMA recommends that breed associations change their breed standards so that cosmetic procedures are not required. (Revised, November 2000)
The CVMA recommends that breed associations change their breed standards so that cosmetic procedures are not required. (Revised, November 2000)
AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (AVMA)
a) Ear Cropping and Tail Docking
Ear cropping and tail docking in dogs for cosmetic reasons are not medically indicated nor of benefit to the patient. These procedures cause pain and distress, and, as with all surgical procedures, are accompanied by inherent risks of anaesthesia, blood loss, and infection. Therefore, veterinarians should counsel dog owners about these matters before agreeing to perform these surgeries
http://www.vin.com/VINDBPub/SearchPB/Proceedings/PR05000/PR00014.htm

see also link for Council of Europehttp://anti-dockingalliance.co.uk/page_10.htm

The Campaign Against the Docking of Dogs' Tails

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