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Vets Oppose Ear Cropping and Tail Docking

Somewhere between packing my car and dicing celery and cranberries, I missed it. On the day before Thanksgiving, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) released a statement opposing ear cropping and tail docking for cosmetic purposes, and encouraging the elimination of cropped ears and docked tails from breed standards.

Not surprisingly, the American Kennel Club (AKC)—which was not consulted on the policy—took issue with the position and use of the term “cosmetic.” AKC calls these “acceptable practices integral to defining and preserving breed character, enhancing good health, and preventing injuries.”

In particular, the AKC highlights the importance of these procedures in insuring the safety of dogs "that perform heroic roles with Homeland Security, serve in the U.S. Military and at Police Departments protecting tens of thousands of communities throughout our nation.”

Setting aside, for the moment, the AVMA's clear exception for procedures essential to good health and preventing injuries, are we really talking about Homeland-protecting heroes? Isn't the bulk of this surgery performed for the conformation ring and breed standards? Maybe it's time to look across the pond, where European nations banned these practices in 1987.

 

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Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom. lisawogan.com
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Submitted by Scott | December 6 2008 |

I can understand some concerns; however, having a dog who has a docked-tail, and fully understanding the breed history, has me more focused on making sure that the proper care is taken for such breed standards.

That is, we must make sure that not anyone is doing the ears and tails! They must be completed by highly trained vets, who should specialize in such methods. There are too many people who would rather take the cheaper way out to get them done, and they turn out to totally not look like they're supposed to.

I say that we should focus on stopping the fighting rings and mistreatment of dogs for fighting. In addition, we should advocate professional vets in specific areas who specialize in tails and ears. Thank You.

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