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SPCA Urges Support For Dog Tail Bill

28 January 2005

SPCA Urges Support For Dog Tail Bill

The Royal New Zealand SPCA wants animal lovers to signal their support for the bill to ban the docking of dogs' tails.

The SPCA's new Chief Executive, Robyn McDonald, says there is a danger that lobbying by breeder associations may succeed in defeating the bill if ordinary animal-friendly New Zealanders do not make their voices heard.

A Private Members Bill, introduced by Labour MP Dianne Yates, has been sent to the government administration select committee for debate. The bill aims to ban tail docking except in individual cases where it is necessary for the dog's welfare because the tail has been damaged by disease or injury.

To be considered, public submissions on the bill need to be sent to the government administration select committee by 28 February 2005.

"Everyone who loves animals and believes they ought to be treated decently should send in a submission to the committee. You can also request to be heard in person by the committee's members.

"Breeders and other members of the small minority who favour tail docking will no doubt be lobbying hard to prevent change. It would be a sad day for New Zealand if they succeeded," says Robyn McDonald.

"Let there be no mistake; other than in exceptional medical circumstances, dogs derive no benefit whatsoever from having their tails docked. Why should they suffer infection, nerve damage, incontinence and other health problems just to satisfy 'fashion'?

"If passed into law, this bill will bring New Zealand into line with Australia and a number of European countries where cosmetic tail docking is already banned. New Zealand's breeding fraternity import and export dogs from Australia and other countries. The bill will bring them into conformity with current international breeding standards. I'm sure that's what most New Zealanders would want," she says.

Postcards expressing support for Dianne Yates' bill are available from local SPCA branches throughout New Zealand. However, the Society says that members of the public should also consider writing letters in their own words, telling politicians exactly why tail docking should be banned.

The address for submissions on the tail docking bill is:
The Clerk of Committee
Government Administration Select Committee
Bowen House
Parliament Buildings
Wellington

For more information on making a submission, please go to:
www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz/Programme/Committees/Submissions/gadocking

ENDS

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