Humans love to change things in a manner that would suit their personal needs, or just to make it appear pleasing to our eyes. This is the case with dogs’ tail docking, this is a practice that has been carried out for thousands of years now, yet most people don’t know about it.
What Is Tail Docking?
It is a procedure of removing or cropping the tail of a dog shortly after its birth. Either it is performed by a pair of scissors, or tightly tieing a rubber band on the tail to block the blood flow, causing the tail to eventually fall off. This is done to about 70 breeds all around the world; Doberman pinscher, Rottweiler, and bulldog to name a few, and no breed is naturally born this way.
Tail Docking Rules in India – Legal or Illegal?
Some might be thinking, why is it so bad? Well, that is because all the tail dockings are carried out without putting the puppies on anesthesia, therefore, they endure all of the excruciating pain shortly after their birth. Dog’s tail consists of muscles, tendons, sensitive nerves, and cartilage, and once it is severed, puppies cry in a shrieking manner, which is enough to tell that they are in unimaginable pain. Dog lovers in India and many authorities have been against this cruel act since 2011, in a few states it got deemed as a punishable offense, however, that was not enough, and the general public was not aware of such procedure.
Section 11 in The Transport of Animals Rules, averred that ear cropping and tail docking of dogs are tantamount to cruelty, hence, they shouldn’t be allowed. Furthermore, this procedure causes pain, suffering, and extreme discomfort to puppies, and must be prohibited. This battle goes even further in the past, as it was briefly mentioned in the 1960s Cruelty Act, and finally, it got banned in 2011. A similar wave of uproar had taken over the world, and people were demanding for this procedure to be banned in countries like Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, and most European Nations. While other countries stood by the ban, unfortunately, Madras High Court in 2013 overturned this ban and this was done due to the authoritarian interest of breeders and pet store franchises. Petitioners and other forces tried to raise their voices, but they were given no attention and even Rajasthan High Court’s challenge to the rule was dismissed in 2018. Therefore, as of today, tail docking remains legal in India.
The downside of Tail Docking
While we understand that this inhuman procedure causes excruciating pain to puppies, however, what the majority of people fail to understand is that tails are vital communication tools for dogs. Since dogs are unable to verbalize their speech, they rely on their ears and tails to convey their emotions, they portray a wide array of signs with their tails. If this crucial body part is damaged or removed, they are misunderstood by other dogs and can lead to many social issues for dogs.
Even if tail docking is performed upon placing a puppy in anesthesia, they still experience pain after the surgery, which can turn into psychological trauma and ultimately, depression. Now, since their tail has been cropped, they cannot convey their state of mind either.
Let’s just hope in the future, the Supreme Court refutes the statement given by the Madras High court, and this cruel procedure is banned for good.