Published on stuff.co.nz on 15/05/2019
A Waihī woman who was breeding Rottweilers for sale is the first to be fined under new rules preventing the docking of tales.
Jennifer King pleaded guilty to docking the tail of a dog and was sentenced at Waihī District Court on Monday, an SPCA statement said.
She must pay $500 as a fine and solicitor’s costs of $250.
King had told an SPCA inspector she did it “because Rotties have docked tails”.
Her case started when a concerned caller pointed the SPCA to a Trademe listing advertising eight Rottweiler puppies, with photos showing what appeared to be docked tails.
When inspectors visited her home two days later, King said she docked the puppies’ tails when they were two days old.
In a formal interview with SPCA inspectors, she confirmed that no pain relief was provided, and that there was no “therapeutic reason” for the tail removal.
She used docking bands imported from the United States, and said she did not know that laypeople weren’t allowed to do the procedure.
New legislation came into effect in October 2018, and this is SPCA’s first prosecution under it, the statement said.
The regulations state that only a veterinarian or a veterinary student may dock a tail – and not for breed specific or cosmetic purposes, SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen said.
“Pain relief must be given at the time of the procedure also. The defendant pleaded ignorance to this regulation, which is unacceptable due to the pain and suffering she inflicted on the puppies.”
“Changing the body of an animal to please humans is an unacceptable reason to dock the tail of an animal. Pleading ignorance will never be an acceptable excuse, particularly as the defendant was breeding these dogs for sale, and as a responsible dog owner, should have brought herself up to speed on animal welfare law and regulation.”