The idea is to take out the restrictions on the showing of working dogs that have had their tails docked legally since 2007 for welfare reasons (i.e to avoid painful and distressing tail damage in the course of their work).

Why is this idea important?

As the title suggests, it is legal to dock the tails of certain working breeds of dog in England and Wales for very sound welfare reasons. 

Current regulations prohibit the showing of any legally docked dog born on or after 1st April 2007 at any show where the general public is charged an admission fee.  The dogs may be shown at other shows where a public admission fee is not charged and may even qualify for larger shows such as Crufts where they cannot be shown.

This is plainly absurd and unfair, as it discriminates against breeders and owners of working dogs for complying with the law.

The restrictions assume that people who work there dogs have no interest in showing fine examples of working types in the showring.

The restrictions assume that the 'paying public' in some way will be offended by the presence of legally docked dogs for welfare reasons, whereas the non-paying public will find this accceptable.

The restrictions are counter-productive to animal welfare and the long-term health of working breeds because it causes a split between 'working' dogs bred for a life of fitness and function, and 'show' dogs bred for their looks without necessarily being concerned about fitness to function.

Legal docking is scientifically acknowledged to be a minor procedure for dogs under 5 days old because the nervous system at that age is not fully developed to allow the pups to feel significant pain.  It is carried out to prevent major pain and suffering in older puppies and adult dogs as a result of tail damage that can occur over the life of the animal.  The docking of working dogs is therefore an act of welfare and compassion.

Where in any other UK legislation is a person acting within the law, and with the long-term welfare interests of their animals at heart, punished by a petty and spiteful clause.

If a dog has been legally docked, nothing can reattach the tail-portion that has been removed, not even by hiding such animals from the paying public.

The restriction therefore is absurd, unfair, and countrer productive to animal welfare and as such should be repealed through the introduction of secondary legislation to the ANimal Welfare Act.


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