Docking vets in the UK

In 1991, the UK government amended the Veterinary Surgeons Act, thereby prohibiting the docking of dog's tails by lay persons. Since then, only qualified registered veterinary surgeons are, by law, allowed to dock.

Despite the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons ruling docking to be unethical, "unless for therapeutic or acceptable prophylactic reasons", many vets throughout the UK continued to offer the service to those who wish to exercise their freedom to choose.

The Council of Docked Breeds campaigns for the freedom to choose and until April 2007, managed to ensure that members who wished to have their litters docked, could be introduced to veterinary surgeons willing to offer the service.

The new Animal Welfare Acts have changed the situation by making docking illegal except for a small number of working dogs and only if the docking vet is prepared to sign certificates as proof he docked the litter. These certificates can be used by the RCVS to persecute vets and have effectively reduced the number prepared to confront the RCVS, to a very small number.

Vets For Docking is a web site formed as a meeting place for RCVS veterinary surgeons who wish to be allowed to continue the practice of tail docking in the UK.

A statement has been written by J. L. Holmes BVM&S MRCVS and he invites other UK Veterinary Surgeons to add their names to it, to form part of a submission to DEFRA and to the RCVS.

The site and the full statement can be viewed here.