A Christchurch man who docked the tails of two 10 week old boxer puppies has been fined after being prosecuted by the SPCA.
Geoffery Clark admitted to removing a portion of the puppies' tails when they were only three to four days old. Clark stated he placed a plastic tube with a rubber ring over the puppies’ tails and rolled the ring onto the area of the tail he wanted to dock.
Clark has been sentenced to a fine of $400 plus $300 in court and legal fees for performing the illegal act.
SPCA CEO Andre Midgen said in a press release “These puppies suffered as a result of their home surgery procedure.”
“Tail docking is only able to be legally performed by a veterinarian or vet student under supervision, and only for therapeutic purposes, not for breed specific or cosmetic purposes.” She said.
The SPCA was alerted to the case In October last year after Clark took the two 10 week old puppies to a vet for their vaccinations, the vet noticed the puppies' tails had been artificially shortened.
In the past, docking puppies' tails has been thought to prevent disease and injury but the New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) says on their website the evidence does not support these claims.
The NZVA states tail docking has the potential to cause harm and negative outcomes for dogs such as chronic pain and social communication issues.
“There have been no clear benefits of tail docking to the dog in terms of injury prevention in New Zealand.” the NZVA website said.
SPCA inspectors visited Clarks property where they observed one of the puppies as the other had been sold. Clark defended his actions by saying he believed the prohibition was not yet in place.