The UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), has welcomed an exemption for working gundogs from a tail docking ban in Northern Ireland.
The Northern Ireland Assembly passed an amendment to the Welfare of Animals Bill at Stormont today.
The amendment covers the exemption of spaniels, terriers and any other breeds used for hunting, pointing or retrieving. It also covers any combination of these breeds.
Tommy Mayne, BASC Northern Ireland director, said: "BASC would like to thank both the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee and all the other organisations involved in the fight to have an exemption within the Welfare of Animals Bill, which would permit the docking of working dogs tails.
The prophylactic docking of specific breeds of working dog, such as spaniels, terriers and hunt, point retrievers is clearly beneficial to the long term welfare of the animal as it prevents often painful and reoccurring tail injuries which can be distressing for both the dog and the owner.
The Agriculture and Rural Development Committee is to be commended for recognising very early on in the process that there is a clear and genuine need to allow the docking of working dogs tails in order to reduce the risk of tail injury during the dogs working life."