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Last Updated: Friday, 23 February 2007, 00:19 GMT
Breeding worry over tail docking
Hunter with spaniel
Breeders of working dogs like spaniels are opposed to the ban
Scottish breeders of working dogs have said they will stop their trade because of the new legislation banning them from docking the animals' tails.

They said the law is cruel because they claim dogs with long tails suffer from cuts and infections.

The docking of dogs' tails will be banned in Scotland from the end of April.

Anyone caught breaking the law faces six months in prison or a fine of up to 5,000.

Animal Health and Welfare Minister Ross Finnie said docking involves severing muscles, tendons, nerves and sometimes bone or cartilage, which cannot be justified just because a dog might injure its tail in later life.

Heavy undergrowth

Breeders of working dogs, particularly spaniels, have argued that working dogs are prone to injuring their tales in heavy undergrowth, causing them more suffering than docking.

The Scottish Gamekeepers' Association also said working dogs were prone to injuring their tails.

A poll commissioned by Advocates for Animals found more than two thirds of 1036 people questioned in Scotland believed the docking of dogs' tails should be banned.

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), the British Veterinary Association (BVA), the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) and the Scottish SPCA all oppose tail docking except where a tail is injured or diseased.

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