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Statement from the Anti-Docking Alliance

Anti-Docking Alliance

The Council of Docked Breeds statement of 28th February quotes Australian Veterinarian, Dr. Robertson who says he does not consider tail docking a significant issue. In which case, why does he waste time in trying to prevent a legislative ban?

Perhaps the Council of Docked breeds would furnish your columns with the name of the breeds which are being docked in New Zealand and the reason for the docking of each of those breeds. Readers of any such list will be able to compare these with similar breeds which are not docked and evaluate the pseudo reasons for the docking. Examples might be docked Boxers compared with undocked Bull Mastiffs, docked Australian Terriers with undocked Border Terriers, docked Old English Sheepdogs with Bearded Collies.

These minority Vets who are pro-docking are not themselves producing peer reviewed scientific evidence to counter what they argue is the “pseudo science” of those with the opposing view who have produced peer reviewed scientific evidence. What is being produced by pro-docking Vets. appears to have erroneous physiological concepts. Robertson himself implies that he would not do this procedure on other than a healthy, strong neonate. Why would he not do it on an ailing, feeble neonate? Most readers cannot fail to perceive the answer to this – because puppies can die as a result of the procedure and also have permanent damage.

Breeders will tell us that the dog has been designed by man from specimens evolved from the wild over several centuries; in which case, why have they not bred for a “suitable” tail? The reason being that nature has its own designs and it is easier for breeders to achieve a “show” look by severing the tail! Horse docking, ear cropping and other mutilating procedures were carried out centuries ago but many countries have found that these are no longer acceptable for modern and welfare conscious times and many have outlawed or are outlawing them.

Vets who gain the most respect and trust from their clients are those with moral standards which forbid the infliction of unnecessary mutilation and suffering on those in their care and who would consider that the extra money earned from such procedures to be unethical as we would also hope does the Veterinary Surgeons’ licensing Body.

We would ask readers to give full support to legislation to ban docking in New Zealand.

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