30 Sept 2022

WARNING: Dock the tail of a puppy and face prosecution for animal cruelty

WARNING: Dock the tail of a puppy and face prosecution for animal cruelty

ISPCA issue a reminder that tail docking is illegal

The ISPCA has taken possession of a number of litters of puppies, while investigating separate allegations of illegal tail docking in different parts of the country in recent weeks. 

All of the puppies were removed by ISPCA inspectors acting as authorised officers under the Animal Health and Welfare Act (AHWA) 2013, and taken to ISPCA Animal Centres for care and rehabilitation.

“The docking of puppies tails by a layperson was criminalised in 2014 on the introduction of the AHWA. While the law allows for the tails of certain breeds to be docked by a veterinary surgeon in limited circumstances, in practice most vets consider it to be a cruel and unnecessary mutilation, and will not perform the procedure," ISPCA chief inspector Conor Dowling said. 

“ISPCA inspectors still encounter situations where members of the general public have removed puppies’ tails without anaesthetic. It might be claimed that they were unaware of the change in the legislation, but that is no defence under the law. If you dock the tail of a puppy, you could be liable to be prosecuted for animal cruelty," Mr Dowling added. 

Investigations are ongoing and a file is being prepared in relation to this matter.

All of the puppies in ISPCA care received a veterinary clean bill of health and have already been reserved to go to new homes soon.

The ISPCA is asking members of the public to continue to report animal cruelty, neglect or abuse in confidence to the National Animal Cruelty Helpline on 1890 515 515, email or online.

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