Thursday, April 16, 2009

Raaael of the Morning.

Guide me from the darkness before the dawn,
My Raaael of the Morning,
Captured in psyche’s turmoil: in binding darkness: the touch of the Raaael: the healing of Grace.
Conspires with my heart to bring me to love.
Detachable consequence-inescapable karma.
The mischievous and devious self-deluding illusion I create,
Avails me no more against my Raaael of the Morning.
Earning karmic kudos is but the errant fool’s game.
Beyond the consciousness lies the living God.
My Raaael of the Morning is my surety of my life’s saviour.

Raaael and Lena

Together, side by side, in perfect harmony of love, through the Ether we swim,
No two of God’s sacred fish ever swam with such resonance of his love,
For these are the Twin Souls,
Two complimentary, vibrating channels of wondrous light,
Caught swimming in God’s infinite ocean of love.

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long are we going to ignore the advice of vets and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) for the sake of an outdated, barbaric and totally unnecessary procedure?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!
View the signatures


'He lays alert with toned body, watching for stray cows on his front lawn, long sleek tail laid out behind him!'

    Parliamentary Statement NSW

    Ms ALLAN
    (Wentworthville) [4.32 p.m.]: The important issue of the cosmetic tail docking of puppies and dogs is of grave concern to Mr Robert Wansbrough, who operates a successful veterinary surgery practice in my electorate, in Picasso Crescent, Old Toongabbie. Mr Wansbrough might even have treated a dog I used to have who foolishly one day got into a big box of the snail bait Defender and made himself a very sick puppy. For many years Mr Wansbrough has been involved in a campaign to ban the cosmetic tail docking of dogs. He has made a number of representations on this issue not only to the Government but also to his local member, the honourable member for The Hills, as well as to other Opposition members.

    Also, I have received a lengthy petition from my constituents who visit Mr Wansbrough in his veterinary surgery. On current medical and scientific information, tail docking simply cannot be justified. It has not been justified on medical grounds by people who have done it in the past, and Mr Wansbrough believes that it has never been and cannot be shown scientifically to benefit dogs in any way. Indeed, Mr Wansbrough has provided me with evidence that indicates that tail docking can be harmful to dogs, and in some cases fatal.

    The breeders and others who dock tails whom Mr Wansbrough has observed over many years have never disclosed how many puppies died from this practice. Tail docking has been with us for hundreds of years. It started in medieval times when dogs were taxed; working dogs did not incur the tax so their tails were cut off to show this. The middle and upper classes cut the tails off their dogs to avoid the tax. That is the history of the practice, but unfortunately it still remains in our society today.

    Tail docking involves severing the skin, muscles, cartilage, bone and nerves in a puppy's tail. It is done by cutting using scissors, knives, axes or bricks, or by crushing the tail, often with rubber bands. It is a barbaric practice. Between eight and 14 nerves in a puppy's tail are severed. Obviously, that inflicts huge pain on the puppy. The human finger has only two nerves, and we experience pain if we get a splinter in a finger or a finger is cut off. Imagine how magnified that pain is for a puppy when between eight and 14 nerves are being severed!

    Until recently current legislation permitted anyone to cut off a puppy's tail as long as the puppy was less than five days old. Obviously, this has driven Mr Wansbrough's campaign. Earlier today I had the opportunity to discuss this matter with the Minister for Agriculture, who has responsibility for animal welfare. The Minister indicated his sympathy for those who have been expressing concern and horror about this practice for some time. Mr Wansbrough met with the Minister in his Mount Druitt office on a previous occasion, and at that time the Minister expressed concern about the issue. The Minister has tightened the regulations so that it is extremely unlikely that a person will be able to dock a puppy's tail without the use of anaesthetic. Indeed, he has narrowed the regulations to such an extent that only two categories of people, including veterinary surgeons, are able to dock puppy tails.

    Obviously, this issue is of considerable concern to many people in the community. Mr Wansbrough would like the Parliament to have a conscience vote on the issue. Honourable members know that this matter is not coming before the Parliament in the near future in the form of legislation, and I do not think that opportunity will be provided. However, the Minister has given me an undertaking that he will have a fresh look at the evidence provided by Mr Wansbrough. I look forward to Mr Wansbrough getting satisfaction eventually from the relevant department. Certainly, I know the Minister is sympathetic to the issues raised by Mr Wansbrough. I congratulate Mr Wansbrough on conducting his campaign in such a persistent, thoughtful manner so that the matter is at last being raised.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Tail Docking - NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

Happily showing off his 'curlie', Raaael is handsome BECAUSE of his tail...

National ban on cosmetic tail docking of dogs!
The RSPCA believes that cosmetic tail docking is a painful and totally unnecessary tradition and had long campaigned for ban on this cruel practice. In October 2003 the RSPCA’s call was heeded when the Primary Industries Ministerial Council agreed to implement a nationally coordinated ban on routine tail docking for non-therapeutic (cosmetic) reasons. The ban came into force nationally on 1 April 2004. Since that date it is illegal to dock dogs’ tails anywhere in Australia unless there is a medical reason behind the operation. Only a qualified veterinarian is permitted to carry out the surgery, in accordance with state and territory legislation.
Why is the RSPCA opposed to the cosmetic tail docking of dogs?
Puppies' tails are docked at around 2-5 days of age using a pair of scissors or a very tight rubber band. Until the national ban was implemented in April 2004 there were many areas in Australia tail docking did not have to be carried out by a veterinary surgeon - anyone classed as an 'experienced breeder' could cut off their puppies' tails themselves. No anaesthetic was usually used even though the cut goes through highly sensitive nerves. Many veterinarians oppose the procedure on the grounds that it is 'cruel, painful and unnecessary’.
Tail docking is painful
Advocates of tail docking claim that it does not cause pain or discomfort, as the nervous system of puppies is not fully developed. This is not the case. The basic nervous system of a dog is fully developed at birth and the available evidence indicates that puppies have similar, if not increased, sensitivity to pain as adult dogs. Docking a puppy's tail involves cutting through muscles, tendons, up to seven pairs of highly sensitive nerves and severing bone and cartilage connections. Tail docking is usually carried out without any anaesthesia. Puppies give repeated intense shrieking vocalisations the moment the tail is cut off and during stitching of the wound, indicating that they experience substantial pain. Inflammation and damage to the tissues also cause ongoing pain while the wound heals.
Is it legal in other countries?
Cosmetic tail docking has also been banned in a number of countries including Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Finland, Germany and Denmark. Several other European countries including Cyprus, Greece, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Austria have also ratified a European Convention that prohibits the cosmetic docking of tails. In the United Kingdom tail docking can only be carried out by a registered veterinary surgeon. The practice is opposed by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons which describes it as an 'unacceptable mutilation'.
A tradition of pain
There are over 70 breeds of dog that traditionally have their tails cut off a few days after birth. Many people think that dogs of docked breeds, which include Dobermans, Rottweilers, most terriers, spaniels, pointers and other gun dogs, are born with short tails - this is not true! The reason some breeds and not others are docked is simply because of the fashion set for that particular breed.
There are a rare few dogs of specific breed that may be born with a naturally short tail; some examples may be the Stumpy-tailed Cattledog, Boston Terrier or French Bulldog.
Furthermore, each breed had an arbitrary standard for where the tail should be cut off. These absurd rules include 'just above the hair markings on underside of tail' for the Australian Silky Terrier, or 'complete tail removal' for the Schipperke, or, for the Cocker Spaniel, where the tail is cut to be 'never too short nor too long as to interfere with merry action when working'!
Pro-docking claims
The few but vocal advocates of tail docking give a range of unconvincing explanations to defend their views. For instance, they say that some heavy coated breeds need to have their tails docked for hygiene reasons (even though many undocked breeds have thick coats and regular care is all that is necessary to maintain good hygiene).
Another 'explanation' is that docking prevents tail damage in hunting dogs. But most docked puppies are kept as family pets and are never used for hunting. And research has shown that docking does not reduce tail injury in the general dog population. Furthermore, many breeds of hunting dogs do not have docked tails, and the length of the tail in docked breeds varies according to the breed standard.
The excuses put forward to support tail docking are plainly unfounded. There is simply no excuse for continuing this painful tradition.
Why do some dogs still have docked tails?
You may still see adult dogs with docked tails, as the docking may have been performed before the ban was introduced. Don't ever buy a puppy with a docked tail. If you get a dog from a breeder, make sure that they do not dock tails. If you suspect that tail docking is still taking place, please phone your state or territory RSPCA.
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