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Tail Docking

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For more informatin on the status of Tail Docking in South Africa,
to visit the website for the Docked Breeds Association of South Africa

KUSA Stance on Tail Docking

KUSA Statement to members regarding the S.A. Veterinary Council (SAVC) stance on tail docking

1.KUSA has taken note of communications by way of written documents and newsletters from the various parties involved in all aspects of tail docking and, drawing from the available information and without detracting from the various communications, provides the following information for its members.

2.The Veterinary Act established the SAVC and empowered it to make rules regulating the veterinary profession and, in terms of Section 30(3) of the Veterinary Act, any rule made by the SAVC will not be of any force and effect until such time as the Minister has approved the rule and it has been published in the government gazette by the Registrar (of the SAVC).

3. A thorough search of the government gazettes since the 2nd June, 2006 resolution taken by the SAVC to declare tail docking an unethical procedure for veterinarians has revealed no Ministerial notice confirming the approval of this resolution and the KUSA’s legal advice confirms that Ministerial approval is required in terms of Section 30 of the Veterinary and Para-veterinary Professionals Act, 1982.

4.KUSA’s point of view is that humane veterinary procedures must remain available to all dog owners at all times for any treatment the owner or breeder deems necessary and the KUSA supports the right of choice for the individual, be it breeder, dog owner or practicing veterinarian.

Article on Tail Docking in the Herald

Docking dogs neither illegal nor cruel, say breeders

Rochelle de Kock HERALD REPORTER

THE Docked Breeds Association of SA has slammed reports that tail-docking is an unlawful act which could lead to imprisonment, and insists that it cannot be labelled an act of cruelty if the correct procedures are followed.

The news comes amid warnings issued by animal welfare authorities last month that they would reprimand anyone found docking a dog‘s tail.

Helmut Redtenbacher, chairman of the Doberman Club in Pretoria, said the SA Veterinary Council was trying to intimidate and frighten vets by saying that they might be found guilty under the Animal Protection Act if they were found docking tails.
“There hasn‘t been a court ruling to say that tail-docking is cruel; the SPCA is trying to say that it is cruel,” Redtenbacher said.

“The Veterinary Council is trying to create the impression that it‘s illegal to dock a dog‘s tail, whereas it‘s not because any rule made by the council must be approved by the Minister of Agriculture and it must be published in the Government Gazette,” he said.

Redtenbacher accused the Veterinary Council of trying to make its own laws.

Meanwhile the National Council of SPCAs said it believed the Animal Protection Act would be violated if breeders continued to dock the animals themselves.

Previously, Port Elizabeth Animal Anti-Cruelty League spokesman Linda-Louise Swain said: “It is against the law to dock tails. We will educate people and severely reprimand anyone found docking a dog‘s tail.”

She said this after a four-month-old puppy was removed from its home in Nelson Mandela Bay‘s Jacksonville because its tail was beginning to rot after being bound with elastic.

In Port Elizabeth, Donné Lucas, of the Docked Breeds Association of SA, was adamant that vets could not be prosecuted if they were found docking dogs‘ tails.

“It‘s the same thing as having your ear pierced. If the correct procedure is followed and it‘s done when the dog is three to five days old, it is not cruel because they don‘t feel anything,” Lucas said.

National Council of SPCAs spokesman Christine Kuch said the Veterinary Council had not said tail- docking was unlawful, but rather that it would not condone vets docking tails any longer.
“People who do it themselves will be prosecuted, and if they are convicted under the Animal Protection Act, it could lead to imprisonment,” she said.