Tail docking of dogs

Background

BVA and the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) have campaigned successfully against the non-therapeutic docking of puppies’ tails since the 1960s because they consider it is not in the animal’s best interests.

The docking of dogs' tails is now banned in:

Tail docking can only be performed by a veterinary surgeon (at their discretion), who must complete a certificate for working dogs (in England, Wales and Northern Ireland). Any veterinary surgeon who docks a tail must certify that they have seen evidence that the dog is likely to work in specified areas and that the dog is of a specified type. The dog must be no older than five days when docked and will also need to be microchipped before it is three months old (or eight weeks in Northern Ireland).

It is illegal to show a dog with a docked tail (docked after April 2007 in England and Wales, or 1 January 2013 in Northern Ireland) in any shows where the public pay to enter, except where they are demonstrating their working ability.

BVA activity

The BVA has issued:

Further information

Certificate to be completed by the vet when docking a dog's tail in England

Certificate to be completed by the vet when docking a dog's tail in Wales

Certificate to be completed by the vet when docking a dog's tail in Northern Ireland

RCVS advice

Anti-docking Alliance