Tail docking

Tail docking in dogs: a review of the issues

“Since it is not customary in our society to remove limbs or appendages from animals arbitrarily, it may be expected that tail docking served some important function in the past. Indeed, if tail docking was associated with established benefits in the past,
it might be assumed that those currently calling for a ban on the procedure have a burden of proof to justify why a change to existing practices is necessary. It is argued later in this paper that there are no established benefits associated with tail docking in dogs and that, for several reasons, the burden of proof actually lies with those who support the procedure to demonstrate however, it is worthwhile considering the arguments most commonly used to justify calls for a ban on tail docking.”

Animal Welfare Centre, Department of Psychology, Clayton Campus, Monash
University, Victoria 3800. Email: p.bennett@med.monash.edu.au