Tail Docking

Dogs prefer tails

Tail Docking

As of June 1st 2004 Australia is to be commended in joining the ever growing list of countries in the world which have banned the docking of dogs tails

The following article produced by the AVA (Australian Veterinary Association) outlines the need for this legislation

 
   The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) considers amputation of dog's tails to be an unnecessary surgical procedure and contrary to the welfare of the dog
The AVA recommends that the docking of dog's tails be made illegal in Australia except for professionally diagnosed therapeutic reasons, and only then by registered veterinarians, under conditions of anaesthesia that minimise pain and stress

IS TAIL DOCKING PAINFUL

Yes, there is strong evidence that this is the case.  The puppy has fully developed nervous system and well-developed sense of pain - many biological markers show that pain is occurring

WHY DID TAIL DOCKING START

 Many theories on how tail docking began include: a prevention of rabies, prevention of back injury, increasing speed and prevention of damage due to fighting, ratting and rabbiting.  Tails are also docked to conform to breed standards and include breeds such as Schnauzer, Old English Sheep Dogs, Dobermans, Boxers

DOES TAIL DOCKING PREVENT TAIL INJURIES

Traditionally, some breeders  considered a docked tail necessary to fulfil the working function of the dog.  Today many working breeds are kept as house pets.  When tails are allowed to remain intact, there are no more tail injuries in breeds that are customarily docked than in other breeds of dog

CAN DOCKING CAUSE PROBLEMS IN LATER LIFE

There is considerable scientific evidence that docking itself can lead to complications, including death of the puppy.  In later life the stump of the tail may be painful due to the formation of a neuroma in the stump.  This also occurs following amputation of limbs in people and causes considerable discomfort

DO DOGS NEED THEIR TAILS

Yes, tails have many useful functions and are important for balance and body language among other things.  Although some breeds today have individuals that are occasionally born with deformed or short tails.

WHAT IS THE SITUATION  IN OTHER COUNTRIES

 There are countries which have banned cosmetic tail docking for a considerable number of years- Norway since 1987, Sweden and Switzerland since 1988, Cyprus, Greece and Luxembourg since 1991, Finland since 1996 and Germany since 1998
No increase in tail injuries or serious health problems has been detected as a result of the ban on tail docking in these countries

WHAT COULD I DO TO PREVENT TAIL DOCKING

Do not buy puppies without tails
Insist that the breeder from whom you buy your dog does not dock tails
Demand that your kennel club or canine organization stops advocating docking in any form and starts promoting the showing of intact dogs
Most importantly, please take action to make tail docking illegal for anything but medically justified reasons