Fell and Moorland WTC

Always remember your terriers

Strict exemption will allow docking of working dogs to continue


An attempt to ban all docking of dogs tails failed by 11 votes at the Report Stage of the Animal Welfare Bill in the House of Commons last night,

 after a concerted lobbying campaign inside and outside Westminster by a coalition of organisations.


The Countryside Alliance, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation and the Country Land and Business Association all actively campaigned for the welfare of working dogs.


Under the Bill a vet will have to certify that the dog is likely to work in security, search and rescue, pest control or lawful shooting activities later in life and docked dogs will have to be identity chipped before three months of age. 

Defra have not yet announced the documentation that will be needed to support certification, but it may include the production of a firearms certificate or a counter signatory system similar to that for shotgun certificates.


Simon Hart, Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance said: “There could not be a better example of the importance of co-ordinated lobbying by a coalition of organisations. Our campaign revealed that contrary to the claims of the animal rights lobby there was no majority of public support for a total ban and there were senior vets who argued that the welfare of working dogs was best protected by allowing the practice to continue.


“Working with the Government we produced a compromise that will be practical for the shooting community and which, crucially, gave MPs confidence that only working dogs would continue to be docked.


“But this vote could not have been won without the input of thousands of ordinary working dog owners making the case to their MPs up and down the country. Constituency lobbying of MPs by the voters who elect them is always more effective than even the best Westminster lobbying operation.


“This vote was far too close for comfort and the lesson for the shooting community is clear: lobbying and campaigning does work, but we must become more organised, motivated and effective to fight for shooting at Westminster and in constitiuencies”.




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