Write Now! - or it may be too late

13th January 2006

The Council of Docked Breeds has urged everyone who supports tail docking to contact their MP immediately.

A nationwide lobbying campaign which started in December has been stepped up, but the impact may not have been sufficient to sway MPs to vote for continued freedom of choice over docking when the matter is decided in the House of Commons in the coming weeks, warns CDB President Peter Squires.

“There is a clear and present danger,” said Mr Squires. “The recent debate on the Animal Welfare Bill demonstrated the depth of ignorance which exists about docking in the House of Commons. This needs to be overcome immediately, and we are appealing to everyone to help us, whether they work their dogs, show them or simply love our traditional docked breeds the way they are.

“The price of democracy is a first class postage stamp. Write now to your MP, telling him or her why you support the continuation of tail docking, and ask them to vote for freedom of choice when the crucial decision is made in the House of Commons. Do not delay for a moment. Tomorrow may be too late,” said Peter Squires.

Already the CDB has contacted its entire membership, urging them to write to MPs and visit them in their surgeries, and it has followed up its letter with emailed reminders. Many members have already shown their support, and the efforts of the Essex and Eastern Counties Boxer Club in lobbying their local MP were even mentioned in the debate on 10 th January.

“I applaud the efforts made by the Essex and Eastern Counties Boxer Club. Theirs is a magnificent achievement. But every other breed club, every other field trial society and gundog club must now do the same,” added Mr Squires.

The Animal Welfare Bill has now entered its Committee stage, and will return for discussion by the full House of Commons within the next few weeks. While the Government has indicated that it would prefer there to continue to be freedom of choice over the docking of dogs’ tails, it plans to leave the final decision to Parliament. No date for a vote on docking has yet been set, but it could be before the end of February.

Help on how to communicate with your MP can be found here