Tail Docking and Ear Cropping

"..ear cropping.. and tail docking.. is cosmetic with few medical rewards for the dog" (Dunn, T.J., Jr. "Elective Surgery." Dog World, Nov. 2003, 14-15).

Ear cropping and tail docking are considered mutilation in Great Britain and are illegal. Mutilated dogs may not be shown in conformation rings.

"According to the AVMA, “tail docking in dogs for cosmetic reasons [is] not medically indicated nor of benefit to the [dog]. These procedures cause pain and distress, and, as with all surgical procedures, are accompanied by inherent risks of anesthesia, blood loss, and infection.” The AAHA, one of the oldest and most respected veterinary care standards organizations in North America, opposes the docking of tails for cosmetic reasons and recommends that veterinarians “counsel and educate dog owners that these procedures should not be performed unless medically necessary.” The organization further encourages that tail-docking be eliminated from breed standards.

WESTMINSTER DOG SHOW ENCOURAGES TAIL MUTILATIONS IN VIOLATION OF NEW YORK LAW 4. New York’s law against cruelty to animals prohibits any act that causes an animal to be unjustifiably injured, maimed, or mutilated. It further prohibits any act that in any way furthers or tends to result in such acts of cruelty. NY Agriculture and Markets Law, Section 353. 5. The Westminster Dog Show, sponsored annually by the WKC, is an internationally promoted, annual competition for titles, awards, trophies, and other valuable consideration" (from complaint by PETA against Westminster Kennel Club).

"The American Animal Hospital Association has revised its position statement on ear cropping and tail docking to more strongly oppose these practices...

"..due to risks of anesthesia, blood loss, and infection.. these procedures should not be performed unless medically necessary...

"..also encourages the elimination of ear cropping and tail docking from breed standards" (Marcella Durand. "Dateline: AAHA Revises Position on Ear Cropping, Tail Docking." Dog World, May 2004: 6).

Colby Glass, MLIS