Tail Docking

Tail Docking

The RSPCA believes that cosmetic tail docking is a painful and totally unnecessary tradition and had long campaigned for ban on this cruel practice.

It has been is illegal to dock dogs' tails anywhere in Australia since 2004, unless there is a medical reason behind the operation. Only a qualified veterinarian is permitted to carry out the surgery, in accordance with state and territory legislation.

There are over 70 breeds of dog that traditionally have their tails cut off a few days after birth. Many people think that dogs of docked breeds are born with short tails - this is not true! The reason some breeds and not others are docked is simply because of the fashion set for that particular breed.

There are a few breeds that may be born with a naturally short tail, such as the Stumpy-tailed Cattledog, Boston Terrier or French Bulldog.

Find out more: Why is the RSPCA opposed to the tail docking of dogs?


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