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Tail docking decision condemned by vets

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THE Scottish Government has voted in favour of reversing a ban on the tail shortening of some working breeds of dogs. The vote, which took place last week, means that it is now legal to shorten the tail of certain breeds of dog (spaniels and hunt point retrievers) by one-third at an age of five days or less. MSPs voted by 86 to 29 to amend the existing legislation, which was signed by Scottish Ministers on June 27 and came into force the next day.

The vote followed a debate by the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee earlier this month, which recommended changing the law to allow tail docking ahead of a vote in the Scottish Parliament (VR, June 17, 2017, vol 180, p 581)

The decision prompted strong responses, with veterinary bodies and animal charities such as the Blue Cross and Dogs Trust condemning it.

Melissa Donald, BVA …

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