The cut goes through many highly sensitive nerves in the skin, cartilage and bone. As of June 1, 2008, it became illegal for any person to dock a tail.
The main reasons for this are that tail cutting causes pain and stress to young puppies and dogs.
Even small dogs feel pain, as they have a fully developed nervous system.
Sometimes, tail cutting results in serious complications, such as bleeding, infection and even the death of the puppy.
There can also be complications later in life, such as
- spinal damage,
- back and leg problems, and
- general pain.
Tail cutting does not provide any benefit to puppies, and dogs need their tails for balance and body language.
If a procedure that causes pain has no immediate or future benefit for the animal, and may lead to complications, it is unnecessary and should not be performed.
Puppies that have not had their tails docked have much better overall balance and the body language is much easier to read than puppies with docked tails.
Anyone who is caught tail docking/cutting, unless for justifiable medical reasons, will be liable for prosecution under the Animal Protection Act no 71 of 1962.
Some believe that tail docking prevents rabies and back injuries, increases speed in the dog and also increases aggression it does not.
You can help to stop tail docking:
* Do not buy puppies without tails.
* Insist that the person who sells or gives you a dog does not cut tails.
* Encourage your dog club or community to stop advocating tail docking.
* Report anyone cutting tails to the SPCA.
Contact the Brakpan SPCA on 011 742 2007 for more information.