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Parliamentary questions
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19 July 2021
Question for written answer  E-003650/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Annika Bruna (ID)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Banning the tail docking of puppies for aesthetic reasons

The European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals(1), which came into force on 13 November 1987, prohibits, inter alia, the docking of dogs’ tails for non-medical reasons.

Although France ratified this convention in 2004, it continued to allow tail docking, including for purely aesthetic reasons. However, in order to minimise pain a vet must carry out the procedure no later than five days after the puppy is born, since at this age the nervous tissues are not fully developed.

Tail docking is traditionally practised on dogs living in packs and which tend to bite their tails, or on dogs living in scrubland where tails can easily become damaged (tails have few blood vessels and hence do not heal properly).

Except for these few instances, tail docking is practised for aesthetic reasons. Often done illegally by breeders later than five days after birth and at times without an anaesthetic, it deprives dogs of a way of communicating with other dogs to show fear, joy, stress, excitement, etc. If done badly, it can lead to total paralysis or chronic back pain.

Is the Commission aware of the provisions of national legislation concerning the tail docking of puppies? Does it encourage Member States to ban this practice?

Original language of question: FR
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