AN IRISH animal charity has reminded people that the 'docking' of dogs' tails is illegal in Ireland after they rescued dozens of pups who had undergone the procedure.
The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) revealed that their inspectors have taken a number of litters into their care recently, in part as the puppies had had their tails cut off.
The procedure, known as docking, has been illegal in Ireland since 2014.
While it is a criminal act for a lay person to cut the tails off their dogs, in certain circumstances, for the health or welfare of certain breeds, the procedure may be undertaken by a qualified vet.
However, as ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling said, "most vets consider it to be a cruel and unnecessary mutilation, and will not perform the procedure".
Commenting on the news that the ISPCA had "taken possession of a number of litters of puppies" while investigating allegations of tail docking across Ireland in recent weeks, Inspector Dowling continued:
"ISPCA Inspectors still encounter situations where members of the general public have removed puppies’ tails without anaesthetic.
"It might be claimed that they were unaware of the change in the legislation, but that is no defence under the law. If you dock the tail of a puppy, you could be liable to be prosecuted for animal cruelty”.
The owner of the puppies who have been taken into ISPCA care face prosecution, and the charity confirmed that investigations are ongoing and a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Thankfully, all puppies seized as part of the investigation have received a clean bill of health from qualified vets.
The pups have been reserved and will be going to their forever homes once they are old and strong enough.
The ISPCA has encouraged members of the public to continue to report animal cruelty, neglect or abuse in confidence to the National Animal Cruelty Helpline on 1890 515 515, by emailing [email protected] or reporting online here