BBC News reports that tail docking will be illegal in Scotland from the end of April 2007.
Ross Finnie, Scottish Animal Health and Welfare Minister, said:
“Tail docking of dogs involves the removal of most or part of the tail, severing muscles, tendons, nerves and sometimes bone or cartilage.
“That cannot be justified because of a possibility that the dog may injure its tail in later life.
“A ban on tail docking is not a step which we have taken lightly.”
Alex Hogg, Chairman of The Scottish Gamekeepers Association argued that not docking the tails of working dogs actually caused more harm:
“The minister has failed in his obligation to protect the welfare of our working dogs and condemned many breeds to a life of pain in his attempts to curry favour with animals rights activists.”
He added, rather menacingly:
“The countryside will not forget.”
The Conservative party suggested that the ban was against all reason but, last I heard, most members of all the UK’s political parties were without tails and so, probably, are unqualified to be quite so forthright on the issue.
So, tail docking: is it a cruel and arbitrary mutilation of a defenceless animal in order that they’re more convenient for human beings, or are we towny-animal-loving-workshy-do-gooders just making a fuss about nothing?