BASC has welcomed the Scottish Parliament’s decision on tail shortening.

BASC has been campaigning for a change in the law on welfare grounds for 10 years since tail shortening was banned in Scotland.

Working spaniel and hunt, point, retriever puppies in Scotland will soon be able to have a simple procedure performed by a veterinary surgeon that will protect them from potentially painful and serious tail injuries in later life.

The shortening of a tail by no more than a third has been shown to give this protection.

There is no immediate change in the law – a commencement date has not been announced.

Nicolle Hamilton from BASC Scotland said: “BASC and other shooting organisations, as well as passionate working gundog owners, have lobbied tirelessly for the last ten years to achieve this change in the law in Scotland. We are delighted that the Scottish Parliament has voted to allow this protection for working dogs.

“This is an important step for animal welfare and important recognition from the Scottish Parliament that people working in rural environments have the best interests of their dogs at heart. Scottish spaniel and HPR breeding lines will be reinstated – once the law has changed people will no longer have to go over the border to source working dogs with shortened tails.”

Mike Hardy, a member of BASC Council, said: “This is excellent news for people with working dogs and for the welfare of the dogs. I welcome the decision from the Scottish Parliament. It has been a long time coming and over this period working dogs have suffered injuries that could have been prevented if the dogs had their tails shortened.”

Alan Marshall, a vet and a member of BASC’s Scottish committee, said: “A great many country sportsmen and women with working dogs will welcome the long awaited decision to reintroduce tail shortening for the working spaniel and hunt, point, retriever breeds. During the 10 years it has taken to reverse this legislation the welfare of these dogs has suffered. We applaud the Scottish Parliament for this long awaited but sensible and proportionate welfare decision.”


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