‘Lift ban on working dog tail docking’

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SCOTLAND’S gamekeepers have renewed calls for the ban on the docking of working dogs’ tails to be lifted.

Alex Hogg, the chairman of the Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association, told the association’s annual meeting in Perth that Scotland was now lagging behind the rest of UK on animal welfare.

And he announced plans for a fresh campaign to urge Holy-rood to end the “cruel” ban, claiming working dogs had suffered painful tail injuries since the ban was enforced.

He said the Northern Ireland government had already granted an exemption to working dogs after introducing a ban on the cosmetic docking of dogs’ tails. England and Wales also had exemptions in place on welfare grounds, making Scotland the only country in the UK without exceptions for working breeds.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We take the welfare of all animals, including working dogs, very seriously.

“Tail docking is a complex and emotive issue, but it would be inappropriate to make a decision to alter legislation without properly peer-reviewed scientific evidence. That is why we commissioned research from the University of Glasgow looking at the incidence of tail injuries in working dogs in Scotland.”