Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tail Docking Petition - Emma the Vet

Here Raaael shows us how long his beautiful tail is by using his tongue?!

I have been a qualified veterinary surgeon for six years. I spent five years at university, being taught how to care for animals to the best of my ability. I have had countless teachings on what is humane and what is not. I have been told this by some of the most educated people in the country in this area.
The members of my profession are rightly held to be the authority on the welfare of animals. So I am sick and tired of people telling outright lies about the supposed welfare of animals in this country - a 'nation of animals lovers' - purely because they are obsessed with how their dog looks and how many rosettes he can win for them. How long are we going to ignore the advice of vets and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) for the sake of an outdated, barbaric and totally unnecessary procedure? I am, of course, talking about tail docking. For those of you that don't know, docking is when a puppy's tail is removed between one and three days of age (although I know personally of one vet who docked an eight-day-old puppy because the breeder had been too busy and had forgotten to get it done). The tails are usually either cut off with scissors, or a rubber band is placed round them until the dead bit falls off. Now, you will be told that this is a completely painless procedure when carried out properly. In fact, the Council for Docked Breeds (CDB) maintains that some puppies, docked while they are asleep, will not even wake up. Let me ask you this - can you imagine a human baby peacefully sleeping through someone cutting off their little finger with a pair of scissors? Try putting a rubber band on the end of your finger and see how long you can bear the pain.
The truth is that docking IS painful. It takes away a dog's ability to communicate with other dogs. There is the risk of haemorrhage, spinal infections, and death. There is a link between docking and problems with the nerve supply to the bladder and rectum. There is also an association between docking and the development of perineal hernias. I have seen puppies that chew their stumps because of the discomfort. I have seen ones that knock the end of their stumps every time they sit down. There is NO excuse any more. There is a strongly held opinion among breeders that, if they leave their dogs whole, they will not get looked at in the show ring. If the Kennel Club said that, after such and such a date, no more docked animals could be shown, I guarantee that the procedure would stop overnight. The Kennel Club is quick to protest that it has animal welfare at heart, but it is in a position to stop the practice of docking instantly whether the Government banned it or not.
Our last king said that he didn't like ear cropping, and the Kennel Club stopped it immediately. We find the practice extremely distasteful and are quick to criticise the likes of the USA for continuing to do it, and yet we are just the same when it comes to docking. Thus, we are launching a national campaign to get docking banned. We will be petitioning the Queen in the hope that where one monarch had the foresight to interject, another one will do the same. Please help us in this task, and sign the petition on my this site. It is time to make sure that every dog has a happy tail to tell!
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