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If we do not start paying attention to what is going on, we are going to have the government and the general public telling us how and what to breed. And if no one really cares about that, then why bother entering dog shows? Just take Biff and Buffy over to the neighbor, see what he thinks and send them to the backyard to breed. I think I'll stick with the judge's opinions, thanks.....not the govenrments nor the animal rights activists!
What's that? You say "but that is in Europe!" ?? Well, there are movements afoot here in the US also.
"I believe that the following extract proves that the minority desire to ban tail docking is alive in the United States."
"Ignored, groups such as this will gain strength and persuade the authorities that their unsubstantiated claims are valid and widely accepted. Legislative changes restricting docking may slip through unnoticed, lumped in with the banning of other practices which are perhaps valid in the name of welfare, thus providing little or no opposition. If you support the docking option, you need to be prepared to campaign for its retention and to make your voice heard."
"The Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights is opposed to various surgeries done to meet 'breed standards' or to correct so-called vices. Procedures such as ear cropping, tail docking or 'debarking' in dogs, or declawing in cats are unacceptable because the suffering and disfigurement they cause the animal are not offset by any benefits to the animal. If such a procedure can be shown to be necessary for medical or humane reasons, then it is permissible. The 'breed standards' for dogs must be altered to allow the animals to be shown without being surgically mutilated."
"Please do not be fooled by the apparent get out clause "If such a procedure can be shown to be necessary for medical or humane reasons, then it is permissible". This will be interpreted as the tail docking procedure only being allowed when an adult dog has injured its long tail. This group is plainly under the misconception that tail docking is merely "cosmetic surgery"."
The Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights are based at: P.O.Box 6269, Vacaville, California. 95696-6269. This statement can be found on their site at http://envirolink.org/arrs/avar/avar_www.htm
As you may or may not be aware, Scandanavian countries have had a ban on tail docking for several years now. Some intersting data has been gathered on tail damage in breeds that were previously docked since the docking ban took effect. Before getting into the numbers, let's look at why tails are docked in the first place. "Why Are Dog's Tails Docked?"
"1. To avoid tail damage"
"A number of working gundog breeds have to hunt game through heavy vegetation and thick brambles, where their fast tail action can easily lead to torn and bleeding tails which are painful and extremely difficult to treat. Docking the end of the tail eliminates the risk of injury."
"Working terriers are docked for the same reason. In addition, terriers which are bred to hunt below ground for purposes such as fox control, have their tails docked to a length which is more practical when working in a confined space."
"Other non-working breeds which have an enthusiastic tail action, are also liable to damage their tails, even in the home."
And here are the afore-mentioned facts and figures:
"Since docking was banned in Sweden in 1989, there has been a massive increase in tail injuries amongst previously docked breeds. Within the 50 undocked Pointer litters registered in that year with the Swedish Kennel Club, 38% of dogs suffered tail injury before they were 18 months old and in 1991, the number of individuals with tail injures had increased to 51% of the group."
"2. For reasons of hygiene"
"Long haired, thick coated breeds like the Yorkshire Terrier and Old English Sheepdog are docked to avoid the hair around the base of the tail becoming fouled by faeces. Even with constant grooming and washing, such fouling is unpleasant. If allowed to get out of hand, it can lead to severe problems of hygiene, or even flystrike and subsequent infestation by maggots."
"Hygiene problems can be greatly reduced or eliminated altogether by docking."
"3. To maintain breed standards"
"Breeds which have been docked over many generations have been selected for specific qualities of build and conformation, but not for tail length, shape or carriage."
"If left undocked, it is unlikely that the best dogs would carry good tails. In seeking to maintain the quality of the breeds, breeders would therefore be left with a diminished number of suitable sires and dams. The genetic pool would be reduced, greatly increasing the risk of hereditary diseases taking hold. Some breeds could even disappear for ever."
Following are excerpts from a study done in Sweden.
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