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Volume 76: debated on Monday 1 April 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what representations he has received on the subject of cropping dogs' ears; and if he has proposals to eliminate this practice;(2) what is his policy with regard to tail docking of dogs; and whether such docking is necessary to prevent damage to the tails of the breeds which are presently docked.

We have received no recent representations about ear-cropping or tail-docking. These operations may be performed only in accordance with the provisions of the Protection of Animals Act 1911 and the Protection of Animals (Anaesthetics) Act 1954, which require that all operations on animals be performed with due care and humanity and, if appropriate, under anaesthetic. In some cases docking of dogs is performed for therapeutic purposes.The Council of Europe Ad Hoc Committee for the Protection of Animals is currently preparing a draft convention on the protection of pet animals. Among the draft articles is one to prohibit the performance of surgical procedures for the modification of external appearance or other non-curative purposes unless it is considered necessary by a veterinary surgeon. The United Kingdom has supported the inclusion of this Article.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set up an investigation into the practice of using dogs with inherited defects to breed puppies which become blind.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has as to the number of Sharpeis dogs, whether imported or not, which suffer from (a) chronic mange resulting in ulceration of the skin, (b) umbilical hernias and (c) thyroid deficiency symptoms, as a result of deliberate breeding of dogs with inherited defects.