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Agriculture Committee provides assurances on Tail Docking

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 27 January 2011

Reference: AGR 01/10/11

The Northern Ireland Assembly’s Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development has assured dog showing societies that the Welfare of Animals Bill, being debated next week, will not result in an immediate ban on showing of dogs with docked tails.

Speaking after the Committee meeting, the Chairperson, Mr Stephen Moutray MLA said, “The proposed legislation will ban the docking of dog’s tails, with the exemption of working dogs. This is a necessary step to protect the welfare of dogs and to stop the cosmetic docking of tails. This legislation which will be debated in the Assembly next week will also stop the showing of dogs with docked tails, as is already the case in England and Wales. This step is also the subject of debate currently within the European Union. However, the Committee felt it important to reassure owners and dog shows that dogs who have their tails docked before the law passes can continue to be shown for the duration of the dog’s show life.”

Mr Moutray continued, “There has been a lot of debate around this matter and the Committee believes that it is important that the welfare of the dog is prioritised. Cosmetic docking is not carried out on welfare grounds and does not enhance the welfare of the dog. The Committee believes, therefore, that it is right that it is banned.”

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