New bill will BAN the import of dogs with clipped ears or a docked tail to stop owners getting around UK laws
- The practice is illegal here and Bill was stop anyone bring clipped pets into UK
- Stars who have posted pictures with dogs with cut ears include singers Rita Ora
- Bill will also raise age puppies can come to the UK from 15 weeks to six months
Dogs and puppies with their ears and tails clipped in a celebrity-fuelled trend will be banned from being brought into Britain.
The cruel practice is already illegal here but an animal welfare Bill going before Parliament today will stop anyone bringing in clipped pets.
Stars who have posed on social media with dogs with cut ears include singers Rita Ora and Leigh-Anne Pinnock plus footballers Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and John Stones. The import ban will also cover animals with docked tails.
Pictured, Leigh-Anne Pinnock posing with with her dog Kyro on Instagram, who has had his ears clipped
Pictured, a dog involved in an RSPCA prosecution of a man who sold puppies with cropped ears to customers including celebrities
Little Mix singer Leigh Ann Pinnock and her footballer boyfriend Andre Grey, who plays for Watford FC and their dogs with clipped ears
Christine Middlemiss, chief vet at the Environment Department, said the rule will stop owners getting around UK laws.
The Bill will also raise the age that puppies can come to the UK from 15 weeks to six months.
The stars mentioned above were contacted for comment. Lingard no longer owns a dog.
Dr Middlemiss said: ‘From my perspective, we’ve not allowed it in the UK for a reason. While we cannot dictate rules and requirements for other countries, we should have some welfare standards for all kept dogs in the UK.
‘The rules will cover anybody, regardless of whether they are a celebrity or a normal member of the public.
‘The intention would be to not allow them to be imported.’ The ban would also apply to dogs with docked tails.
Welcoming the measures, James Russell, President of the British Veterinary Association, said: ‘Every day veterinary practices see the devastating consequences of illegal pet smuggling.
‘Puppies that have been poorly bred and taken away from their mothers at a very young age often suffer from disease, other health problems, and poor socialisation leading to heartache and financial costs for new owners.
Pictured, a graphic image released by the RSPCA of a dog after his ears were cropped
‘We welcome changes to the law that will stop criminal gangs abusing pet travel rules for profit.
‘We’re also delighted to see that the Government has moved a step closer to a ban on the import of cropped and docked dogs, putting an end to the alarming trend of ear cropping that vets have been campaigning on.’
RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood said he was ‘thrilled to see measures to crack down on the import of puppies – a cruel trade where criminals get rich selling sick and dying puppies to unsuspecting families, which has boomed during lockdown.
‘Any steps to restrict the import of dogs with cropped ears will also send a powerful message against the painful and unnecessary mutilation of dogs for fashion’.
Llamas and ostriches, which are increasingly being farmed in the UK for their wool and meat respectively, will get new protections too – as the bill will give new powers to the police to protect the animals from dangerous and out of control dogs. Other measures will include a ban on keeping monkeys and other primates as pets, unless owners have a ‘zoo standard’ of accommodation.
Last month, the UK government introduced a bill which ensures animal sentience is recognised under UK law. Further reforms to be announced later this year will relate to microchipping cats, pet theft and farmed animal welfare.
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