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New UK law points the way on tail docking

Media Release 17 October 2005

New UK Animal Welfare law points the way on tail docking

“The British government is on the right track with its new Animal Welfare law. It is making owners responsible for their pets' welfare and continues to allow breeders the choice of whether to dock puppies' tails or not,” said Mrs Lesley Chalmers, president of the NZ Kennel Club.

The Animal Welfare Bill was introduced into the House of Commons in London on Friday (UK time) after a lengthy consultation process.

“New Zealand would do well to follow the United Kingdom's lead, by toughening up penalties for animal abusers and by recognising that docking puppies' tails is a legitimate choice for breeders.

“Responsible dog owners in the UK have welcomed the new bill. It is the first overhaul of this area of law for 94 years and quite properly targets the few idiots who do not properly care for their pets.

“Fines of up to ₤20,000 ($51,000) and a year in jail are appropriate for people who wilfully mistreat dogs.

“And similarly substantial penalties for organising a dog fight are justified.

“On tail docking, the NZ Kennel Club welcomes the clear statement of the UK government that 'there should continue to be freedom of choice.'

“We hope that the New Zealand Parliament will listen, and quickly throw out Dianne Yates' private member's bill, Animal Welfare Amendment Bill, which would ban tail docking outright.

ENDS

www.nzkc.org.nz

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