Maxi Zoo have been made aware of draft regulations to the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013, which includes proposals to permit tail docking and claw removal without the use of anesthetic or pain relief by non veterinary qualified persons.
If these regulations are introduced, it means anyone can dock tails or amputate dew claws of pups less than 4 days of age.
There is a lack of scientific evidence to show the tail docking benefits the animal. Originally done to prevent tail injuries in working dogs, the incidence of injury is only 0.2%, and the majority of tail injuries can be treated without amputation. Tail docking is now done for aesthetic purposes, and is undertaken by using a sharp knife or rubber ring to remove some or all of a healthy tail of a dog.
Dew Claw removal is also undertaken for aesthetic purposes. Any potential injuries to dew claws in older dogs can be prevented by simply keeping the nail clipped.
A study undertaken by Veterinary Ireland demonstrated that the majority of tail injuries seen by vets were in fact because of a botched tail docking procedure performed by non-vets, using instruments such as Stanley knives and pen-knives in unsterile conditions and with no pain relief. Simply preventing tail docking being performed will prevent the majority of the tail injuries seen by vets in practice. The same study confirmed that 95% of vets wish to see docking banned and the same figure would refuse to do it even if it were legal.
Maxi Zoo is urging the public to sign the online petition form, to prevent these unnecessary regulations being implemented: