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Home tail docking leads to death of 10 puppies

Home tail docking leads to death of 10 puppies

One of the ten puppies who had to be put down

Ten Rottweiler puppies are dead because Waitakere man Mohammed Fiaz Khan tried to dock their tails armed only with fishing line and a complete lack of understanding.

Khan, 33, mechanic, was convicted yesterday in the Waitakere District Court of wilful ill-treatment of animals causing pain or distress so great that it was necessary to euthanise them to end their suffering. He was sentenced to five months community detention plus 18 months intensive supervision and was disqualified from owning dogs for 10 years.

On 8 May 2013 an SPCA Auckland Inspector was called by Auckland Council Animal Management Officers to examine 10, three-week-old Rottweiler pups and their lactating mother.

Around the base of each puppy’s tail a loop of fishing line had been tightly tied, partially severing each tail. The wounds were severely infected causing significant pain and distress to the puppies, which yelped in pain when examined.

The Inspector seized all 10 puppies and their mother and transported them to SPCA Auckland for immediate veterinarian attention. The veterinarian observed that on all 10 puppies, the fishing line was tied too close to the base of each tail but not tightly enough to completely cut off blood circulation. This caused severe pain and distress from the time their tails were tied.

Because the tails were partially severed so close to the anus, surgical correction was not possible as there would not have been enough skin left to cover the wound, leading to permanent faecal incontinence. Also the infections were so advanced that there was serious doubt that they could be controlled. After consultation with two other veterinarians it was decided that it would be inhumane to attempt to salvage the puppies and they should be humanely euthanised to alleviate ongoing pain and suffering.

When interviewed the following day, Khan denied all knowledge of the tail docking and tried to put the blame on a friend, Mr Annand Kishore. However, Immigration New Zealand confirmed that Mr Kishore had been deported to Fiji on 15 February 2013, well before the puppies had been born. SPCA Auckland discovered a Trade Me advertisement placed on 6 May 2013 offering Rottweiler puppies for sale with “tails cut”. The Trade Me account holder was Mr Feroz Khan, the Defendant’s brother, who confirmed he had placed the ad on the Defendant’s behalf.

“If ever a case was designed to underscore why we need to completely ban tail docking in New Zealand, this is it,” says Bob Kerridge, SPCA Auckland Executive Director.

“Tail docking is mutilation. There is no reason for it beyond some arbitrary and outmoded traditions. At best it’s unnecessary and purely cosmetic – at worst it’s painful and dangerous.

“People are currently docking dogs at home with little or no knowledge about what they’re doing. Very often they botch the job, inflicting pain, suffering, and long-term discomfort on the dogs. In some cases the resulting wounds become infected and lead to death, as in this case and plenty of others.

“This case exemplifies why SPCA Auckland has lobbied for so many years to have this barbaric practice banned in New Zealand, as indeed it has been in 33 other countries, including the UK and Australia.”


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