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The European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals and tail docking in dogs

Author(s) : D. Lefebvre, D. Lips & J.M. Giffroy

Summary :

The European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals was opened for signature in Strasbourg on 13 November 1987 and entered into force on 1 May 1992. This Convention states that: ‘Surgical operations for the purpose of modifying the appearance of a pet animal or for other non-curative purposes shall be prohibited and, in particular: the docking of tails’. At present, 15 of the 27 States in the European Union have ratified this Convention (with or without reserving their position on tail docking) and have prohibited cosmetic surgical operations. In addition, four European States have prohibited these operations, even though they did not ratify the Convention. These policy positions agree with both the current knowledge on tail amputations in dogs and the opinions of official veterinary associations in Europe and North America.

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