Tail Docking Ban Exemption Views Being Sought By MSPs

MSPs are seeking views on whether Scotland should lift an outright ban on the shortening of puppy dog tails.

Holyrood's Environment Committee is looking at proposals that will allow the procedure in certain circumstances.

The Scottish Government brought in the ban on tail docking in 2007 as part of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said last year exemptions would be introduced to allow vets to shorten the tails of spaniels and hunt point retrievers when they are puppies.

The move follows concerns these breeds of working dogs were suffering tail injuries.

Committee convener Graeme Dey said: ''Scotland is a country of dog lovers and we know that there are many people out there with strong views both for and against the shortening of working dogs' tails.

''We're keen to hear the thoughts of the public, interest groups and dog owners across Scotland on the specific provisions of the draft regulations to help us consider whether or not changes to tail docking laws should be made.

''For example, do you think the pain of docking is outweighed by more serious injuries or even tail amputation in later in life? Or do you think this would cause undue distress and pain to a puppy?

''Tail wagging is also an important way for dogs to express themselves - could shortening impact on a dog's ability to communicate with its owner?''

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