BSAVA Docking Questionnaire Results

The following questionnaire was sent to 3300 UK members of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association. Up to 10/03/92, 2214 replies were received (67%) at which point the results were collated. In the preamble to the questions, comment on the incidence of tail injury, especially in normally docked breeds was requested.

    Yes No %Yes %No
1 Do you dock the tails of puppies 966 1248 44 56
2 Do you think that docking the tails of breeds at present docked should continue? 216 1998 10 90
3 Do you believe that the non therapeutic docking of tails should be banned? 2044 170 92 8
4 If yes to 3, is your main argument        
i) welfare 244   12  
ii) mutilation 285   14  
iii) i & ii 1343   66  
iv) other 164   8  
5 Would you agree with a docking ban imposed by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons 1985 256 88 12

>The BSAVA survey was only sent to the 3300 UK BSAVA members. The BVA Annual Report 1993, states that at the time, there were 8141 Veterinary Surgeons in General Practice, in Wholetime Appointment within the UK.

The 1998 vets who stated that docking should not continue, were therefore not a majority, but represented just 25% of all UK practice vets.

If you take ALL members of the Profession, i.e. those in Government Service, Universities, Research and "Others" you come to a total of 16066 vets, less 2796 Overseas, less 1976 retired, less 1490 in the Republic of Ireland equals 9804. The 1998 vets now only represents 20% of all UK vets.

A sobering thought considering the fact that those against tail docking use this survey in an attempt to persuade us that the majority of Veterinary Surgeons support the RCVS aim of banning tail docking completely.