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Dog Tail-Docking Bill Hypocritical

22 October, 2004

Media Release from NZ Council of Docked Breeds

Dog Tail-Docking Bill an Exercise in Blatant Hypocrisy and Ignorance

If along with a Bill seeking to ban docking of dogs' tails, there were also a Bill seeking to ban all circumcision of male babies, the Jewish community would be up in arms at the prospect of a grievous infringement of their rights.

Well the New Zealand Council of Docked Breeds represents thousands of responsible dog-breeders in this country and we are outraged at the prospect of having our rights trampled upon by this legislation.

Our members are caring owners who love their dogs as children are loved and we know that if the correct procedures are followed, tail-docking is not cruel. That is why we support a freedom of choice position for dog-breeders on the issue of tail docking.

Blatant hypocrisy

The hypocrisy of a lobby that attempts to ban dog tail-docking while leaving lambs and baby boys all over the country at the mercy of farmers and doctors (respectively) is breathtaking. Clearly the belief exists that lamb docking and male circumcision is not cruel and does not warrant legislation to ban it; so why dogs?

Why is lamb docking not cruel? Why shouldn't we ban all circumcision except that carried out for medical reasons?

The fact is that arguments in support of docking lambs, circumcising Jewish baby boys and docking dogs' tails have much in common. The arguments include: hygiene and safety (for lambs who grow into sheep vulnerable to fly-strike and barbed wire-related tail injuries) and; decades and centuries of tradition and culture.

Cruelty is not a serious issue in any of these instances. And on dog tail-docking, the Council for Docked Breeds has expert veterinary opinion to support our position.

Of course dog-breeders embrace tradition; just as they embrace passionate care for the dogs they breed, raise and show. A tradition of breeds displaying certain characteristics is valid in this society. And that tradition is highly valued by a breeding community steeped in the culture and tradition of dog breeding and showing.

Dogs, like sheep, can be vulnerable to hygiene issues around their tails; long-haired breeds in particular. And dogs frequently suffer from tail injuries. We do not seek to force all breeders to dock tails, we simply believe it is the right of responsible breeders to choose.

We demand an end to the hypocrisy at the heart of Dianne Yates Bill.

ENDS

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