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Taylor Hall

Published on tvnz.co.nz 20/02/2020

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/southland-woman-prosecuted-painful-outdated-practice-docking-puppies-tails

A Southland woman has been prosecuted by the SPCA after she docked the tails of eight Rottweiler puppies using docking bands.

A Southland woman has been prosecuted by SPCA after she docked the tails of eight Rottweiler puppies using docking bands.

Taylor Hall pleaded guilty to eight charges of docking the tail of a dog and was sentenced at Invercargill District Court last Thursday.

She was ordered to pay a fine of $1000 to the SPCA.

Authorities were alerted in April last year when photos on a Facebook post advertising the puppies for sale showed their tails appeared to be docked. 

Two inspectors, accompanied by a veterinarian and a police officer, executed a search warrant at the defendant’s property.

The vet observed that the puppies appeared to have had their tails mechanically removed, with some showing signs of infection. All of the tail stumps had scabbing and four had some degree of discharge.

Ms Hall told the SPCA the puppies’ tails had been docked when they were two days old using elasticated string and said there was no therapeutic reason for the procedure and that no pain relief was provided at the time.

She also confirmed that she had advertised the puppies for sale on Facebook and that she told anyone who inquired that the puppies had been born bobtailed. She stated she did this to avoid getting into trouble, and that she knew the procedure was wrong.

When asked why she docked the tail of the puppies, she said that Rottweilers were a breed that had been docked for years and that not many people liked Rottweilers with tails.

“Tail docking is illegal and people who persist using this outdated practice will be investigated with a view to prosecute,” says Andrea Midgen, SPCA CEO.

“Docking the tail of a dog has the potential to cause significant immediate pain and distress, and to cause other complications such as infection and loss of tail function. Moreover, tail docking is only able to be legally performed by a veterinarian or vet student under supervision, and only for therapeutic purposes, not for breed specific or cosmetic purposes. Dogs must be given pain relief at the time of docking, too.

“Changing the body of an animal for cosmetic reasons is unacceptable, and out of step with modern times,” says Ms Midgen.