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why do springer spaniels have their tails docked

Scottish National Party (SNP)PPCouncillor Christopher McEleny has recently hit the headlines with his demands that SNP members attending the Autumn 2017 conference be given the opportunity to voice an opinion on the The Scottish Government banned tail docking in 2007. However well-intended, the ban failed to account for working gundogs or address the welfare concerns of those dogs suffering tail damage. This situation was amended when the decision to allow a small number of breeds to have protective tail shortening was passedP on a vote of 86 for and 29 against. Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: We firmly believe that shortening the tails of puppies that are at risk of tail injury while engaged in lawful shooting activities in later life will improve the welfare of those dogs. Tail docking was banned in 2007 in England and Wales, except under certain exemptions catered for in the Animal Welfare Act. Puppies have to be docked before they are five days old. This is before the neonate nervous system is fully developed and when bones are still soft. Discuss your docking requirements with your vet well before the whelping date to avoid last-minute panics. The vet will ask you to sign a statement declaring the dog whose tail is to be docked will be used for one of the following: a) law enforcement; b) activities of HM Armed Forces; c) emergency rescue; d) lawful pest control; e) the lawful shooting of animals. Once the five-day time frame is up, the puppies cannot be docked. Which breeds cannot have tails docked? Once you have found a vet who is happy to dock, they will need to confirm the breed.

In England, the puppies must be one of the following listed breeds:
of any type or combination; of any type or combination of type; of any type or combination of type. However, in Wales, combinations of breeds (ie. cross breeds) cannot be docked, only the individual pure breeds. The breeder will then have to give evidence that the owner of the dog will be using the animal for work in connection with lawful. They will have to supply a shotgun or firearm certificate issued to the owner of the dog (or to the agent/employee of the owner). Or they will need a letter from a gamekeeper, land occupier (or his agent), a person with shooting rights or a shoot organiser, etc. in which the writer states the owner of the dog to be docked is known to them, and that dogs bred by that breeder have been used on their land/shoot, etc. The vet must obtain a signed statement from the breeder/owner to say the puppies are of the above type and will be sold for the above purposes. Once you have found the right vet, advised them of the whelping date, shown them all the paperwork and discussed the needs of your breed and tail length you need to set a date. Organise a home visit from the vet to avoid the stress of a car journey and an increased risk of infection. Most bitches with a young litter are protective of their puppies, so its wise to pop mother in another room, or get someone to take her for a short walk in the garden so the vet can work swiftly. There are two possible methods, which use either surgical scissors or a scalpel. Because the nervous system of a young puppy is not fully developed, the procedure is almost painless, so when the puppy is put back in the litter a few moments later, it starts suckling or falls back to sleep almost immediately.

Stitches are rarely required, although sometimes an anti-coagulant is applied to the tail end, but this can irritate the bitchs tongue when she goes back to lick them afterwards. Many vets prefer not to use it and choose a more natural alternative such as witch hazel. Its normal within five minutes of the entire litter being docked for mother and pups to be asleep in a warm pile without a murmur. Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, docking was banned in England and Wales. However an exemption was put in place for Spaniels, Terriers and Hunt, Point and Retrieve breeds that are used to work. Under the Regulations, a dog is officially a working dog if a vet has certified that the dog is likely to be used for work in connection with the following: P(5)PP Lawful shooting of animals. Puppies of these types of dog may be docked by a veterinary surgeon providing this is done within the first five days of life, and that the owner (breeder) can prove that the puppies have been bred to work i. e. they must be able to show the vet either a gun licence or a letter from a land occupier which verifies that the owner's dogs work on his land. The puppies must also be microchipped by a veterinary surgeon. Following both of these procedures, the veterinary surgeon must sign certificates to say that the puppies were both docked and microchipped in accordance with the law. Legally docked dogs may not be shown at events to which members of the public are admitted upon payment of a fee.

Docked dogs from overseas may also not be shown at events in England or Wales to which members of the public are admitted upon payment of a fee, if they were born after the date that the law came into force (April 6th2007 in England and 28thMarch 2007 in Wales). However, dogs docked before April 6th2007 may continue to be shown at all events throughout their lives, as can all puppies born with naturally bobbed tails. In Scotland, docking was banned completely as of 30th April 2007, unless in relation to a procedure which is carried out for the purpose of medical treatment of an animal. This means there is no exemption for working dogs to be docked. However there is no showing ban, meaning that legally docked dogs born in England, Wales or overseas, may be shown at ALL shows in Scotland. In 2010, the Northern Ireland Assembly introduced the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) which bans the docking of dogs' tails and includes an exemption for certified working dogs of the Spaniel, Terrier and Hunt Point Retrieve Breeds. PThe Kennel Club has strongly opposed the creation of an offence to enter a lawfully docked dog at any show at which the public pay an entrance fee (including a car parking fee). The Kennel Club believes the showing ban on dogs which have had their tails amputated in the best interests of their welfare is unfair and unnecessary, and has lobbied strongly against this. However, it is obliged to follow Defra regulations. The Kennel Club's main aim is to now work towards continuity in regards to the law between England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

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