New York Bill Targets Dog Tail Docking

Practice would carry a fine of up to $500 with passage of new state legislation.

Posted: April 8, 2009, 5 a.m. EDT

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Docking dog tails may carry a fine of $500 in New York with the passage of a new bill that seeks to make the practice unlawful.

New York State Assembly Bill 7218 states that any person who cuts the bone, tissues, muscles, or tendons of the tail of any dog is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by not more than $500. The measure does not apply to dogs who have been certified as tail docked prior to Aug. 1, 2009.

As written, AB 7218 calls for making all instances of tail docking unlawful, except those deemed necessary by a duly licensed veterinarian to protect the life or health of a dog. In addition, it would make anyone who shows or exhibits a dog with a cut or altered tail subject to a misdemeanor charge, punishable by a fine of up to $500.

Proponents say the enactment of this bill would ensure that dogs are not caused unnecessary risk and pain by cosmetic tail docking. Opponents, including the American Kennel Club, say owners, in close consultation with their veterinarians — not the government — should make informed decisions about their pets' healthcare.

This bill has been referred to the New York Assembly Agriculture Committee.

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Karen   Fort Ann, NY

7/9/2009 1:52:18 PM

I greatly oppose this bill! It is not for just cosmetic purposes - if anyone uses these breeds for what they were intended, They would understand that this is a safety issue! It is ok for dairy farmers to dock the cows tails and remove the horns, when that is for the farmers convenience, but not ok to dock a dogs tail for its safety!

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C.   G., NY

6/28/2009 7:14:41 PM

Hopefully this bill does not pass. It has been proven that when docking tails during the first 2-5 days of life that the puppies do not feel a thing. I prefer dogs, like Dobermans, Boxers, etc, with their docked tails. That is how the breed is supposed to look. Soon the gov't will be telling you what breed you can or cant own. Its disgusting. OPPOSE THIS BILL.

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Sandy   St. Agatha, ON

6/8/2009 12:16:09 AM

Hooray for New York. I am a breeder of traditionally docked dogs, and welcome the day when my babies no longer have to endure that
procedure.
As a physician I am appalled by the notion cosmetic surgery without the patient's informed consent; why do we visit that upon our
animals?
There is no valid justification.

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Lena   Brooklyn, NY

5/28/2009 5:15:04 PM

Finally... The world continues to come for the better... Make them stop mutilating animals by docking and cropping all over the United States.

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