Docking dogs' tails lands breeder in dock

A DOG BREEDER was taken to task by SPCA investigators who discovered he had committed an offence by docking the tails of puppies in preparation for their role as working dogs.
It happened on the very day last year, the Scottish Government announced plans to lift the ban on the practice for working dogs.
However, the legislation to change the law, didn't come into force until earlier this year.
John Macgregor, 50, admitted carrying out the procedure - aimed at removing the risk to the dogs in the field - at Wick Sheriff Court yesterday and was fined 260. The shortening of the tails involves cutting through sensitive tissues and bone structure.
SPCA inspectors uncovered the offence at a house in Smith Terrace, Thurso, on October 4, last year.
The court heard that Macgregor, an experienced dog breeder, of Primrose Cottage, Scarfskerry, had docked the tails in preparation of the puppies' future role as working dogs in England.
Fiscal Fraser Matheson added that a vet's assessment of the docking, described a detailed level of expertise displayed by Macgregor in complying with the necessary standard required in the practice, before it was banned in Scotland in 2007.
Solicitor Fiona MacDonald said that the puppies had been docked when they were less that 36 hours old.
She made the point: "The tails had earlier been nibbled at, by the pups' mother".The puppies had subsequently been transported to a customer in England.
Passing sentence, Sheriff Andrew Berry said he took into account that Bain was experienced in breeding dogs but added: You will understand that, like it or not, this activity contravened the law and the matter has to be dealt with."