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What to do if you see a dog with cropped ears or a docked tail

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Stroud District Council’s Animal Welfare Officers have noticed increased sightings of dogs with cropped ears and docked tails.

Five reported cases within the district in the last two months.

Ear cropping and tail docking is illegal in the UK unless performed by a vet for medical reasons, and is referred to as ‘mutilation’ under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

These practises are illegal in most European countries, including Romania and Bulgaria where some of the recent cases have been imported from.

It is still legal in some countries but the Government recently announced that it plans to restrict the importation of dogs with cropped ears and docked tails under the New Animal Welfare Bill.

Alex Myrie, Senior Animal Welfare Officer said: “We are appealing to the public to not fund these barbaric practises and not import puppies that have been subjected to this mistreatment. It is important to only purchase puppies from responsible, licensed breeders or adopt from a local animal shelter.

“We are hopeful that the new restriction will deter people from importing dogs with cropped ears and docked tails and in turn cases will decrease.”

Alex has recently been asked to join the Local Government Animal Welfare Group (LGAWG), which provides information for local authority teams as well as other animal welfare enforcers such as the police and RSPCA.

This group seeks to raise the profile of animal welfare enforcement as well as sharing best practice and providing advice for those working with animals. The LGAWG operates with a core group of local authority officers who wish to be closely involved with any work around legislation and enforcement. They may also be working alongside Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs key stakeholders.

SDC Environment Committee Chair Chloe Turner said: “We are encouraging those who see a dog that has undergone either or both of these procedures to contact us or the RSPCA immediately. These practises are completely unnecessary and can cause a lot of pain and suffering to the dog.”

If you see a dog with cropped ears and/or a docked tail, please contact us at 01453 766321 or environmental.health@stroud.gov.uk or the RSPCA at 0300 1234 999.

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