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Tail Shortening for Working Dogs

The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee (ECCLR) vote on the draft legislation to allow the tail shortening of Spaniel and HPR puppies that are likely to be used in connection with shooting.


The motion by Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham passed by 7 votes to 3 with no abstentions following the debate.


The Cabinet Secretary and Veterinary Adviser Andrew Voas faced stiff questioning from ECLLR members Mark Ruskell MSP (Green) and Claudia Beamish MSP (Lab) calculated to reject the need for an exemption. Indeed MSPs Ruskell joined Scottish Labours Claudia Beamish and David Stewart in rejection of the motion


Roseanna Cunningham accepted the deliberately narrow focus of the Glasgow University research but stated that the Scottish Government accepted that the conclusion provided sufficient evidence to support the practice of tail shortening in certain dog breeds in conjunction with shooting, principally Spaniels and HPR’s. 


Scottish Countryside Alliance Director Jamie Stewart said: We are delighted with the vote but minded that the draft legislation still requires approval from the debating chamber if it is to become law. We will continue our ongoing dialogue with cross party MSPs to ensure support for the Prohibited Procedures on Protected Animals (Exemptions) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2017. With the level of opposition from Green and Labour MSPs we work to do.

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