Breaking news Jan 2011

Latest News - UK Coalition Government happy to accept that up to 16,000 dogs suffered tail injuries in the UK for a recent 12 month period and circa 5,000 had to undergo adult tail amputation! Read the veterinary report here Read about the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Post-Legislative Assessment of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 here

Tail docking is a very emotive subject the world over. The Council of Docked Breeds (CDB) campaigns to protect the freedom to choose the tail docking option. Based in the UK it is a non-profit making organisation manned by dog breeders.

The CDB monitored and campaigned against parts of the new UK Animal Welfare Acts which restrict the freedom of choice. It also monitored progress of the Council of Europe's Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals. This Convention severely restricts canine breeding, so has serious implications for ALL dog breeds across Europe and beyond.

The Animal Welfare Acts came into force in Wales on 31 March 2007, England on 6 April 2007 and Scotland from 30 April 2007. Tail docking was effectively banned from the above dates. An exemption for certain working dogs only applies to those being docked in England or Wales.

Full details of the position on docking in the UK as at May 2007 can be found here.

Australia has experienced a huge drop in litter registrations since their tail docking ban was introduced details here It remains to be seen how the UK will react, but a similar drop is to be expected.

Any American or Canadian reader believing they are safe from those seeking to ban tail docking, may be interested to read what their veterinary associations have to say on the matter.

New Zealand has taken a more balanced approach and in June 2010 introduced a code which allows tail docking by trained lay people, details here.

The following selection of pictures show tail damage experienced by dogs in traditionally docked breeds who were not docked as whelps.

tail damage example one
tail damage example two
tail damage example three
tail damage example four
tail damage example five

click on any thumbnail to see full image

Tail damage can occur either in the working environment or when just kept as a companion, see Veterinary Paper published June 2010. Up to 16,000 dogs suffered tail injuries in the UK for a recent 12 month period and circa 5,000 had to undergo adult tail amputation!

Damage that would have been avoided by a simple painless procedure at three days old.

Since the publication of the Paper, the CDB has restarted its campaign and is seeking support from the new Coalition Government to review and hopeful repeal the ban on tail docking in the UK.

The CDB has never supported a return to the days when ANYBODY could dock the tails of a newly born puppy. We believe that only trained professionals or registered lay persons should be legally able to do so. The Animal Welfare Act was supposed to protect the welfare of animals and is proven to have failed in the case of our traditionally docked breeds.

A repeal of the ban on tail docking is now overdue, our freedom to choose should be reinstated.