Two men were ordered to pay a total of €250 to the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) after admitting to their parts in the docking of the tails of six Terrier puppies in March 2014.
The two men, both with an address at Lisacurkia, Tibohine, Co. Roscommon were the first to be summonsed before the courts in relation to offences under section 16 of Animal health and Welfare Act which came into force on March 6th 2014.
The case came about as a result of a visit made by ISPCA Inspector Karen Lyons to the men’s home on 3rd April 2014, less than a month after the commencement of the legislation which outlawed the docking of puppies’ tails and the removal of dew claws by lay-persons.
ISPCA Inspector Lyons discovered the litter of four week old Terrier puppies in a shed on the property. Enquiries established that the docking of these puppies’ tails had been carried out since the implementation of the new legislation and that a veterinary surgeon had not been involved.
The puppies were surrendered into the care of the ISPCA and were subsequently rehomed. A file on the matter was prepared by the ISPCA and submitted to the Department of Agriculture’s legal division.
ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling said: “We need to get away from the attitude that this sort of mutilation is normal practice and that some breeds don’t look right with long tails. This is just one of several cases we have instigated in relation to the illegal docking of puppies. People must be aware that to perform this act is a criminal offence and can have serious consequences”.
Alan Rossiter, vet in Blacklion Pet Hospital Greystones and Chairperson of the Veterinary Ireland Animal Welfare Committee added: "I am delighted to see the first successful prosecution for tail docking since it was made illegal last year. I personally started campaigning on this within Veterinary Ireland 5 years ago so whilst it sickens me that these poor pups were so cruely mutilated it is a huge relief to know that our time campaigning was well spent and no longer will this barbaric practice be tolerated. Long live the tail!"