The truth behind the restriction on tail docking . . .
Australian Veterinary Association [A.V.A.] played a very important role in the ban of tail docking in dogs. They were one of the four groups consulted ³ leading up to this decision on a State by State basis. In one of their media releases Wednesday 8th October 2003, they claimed to have recorded 42 shrieks and whimpers during and immediately after tail docking ¹. Despite the fact these shriek and whimpers are not to be heard when tails are docked by Accredited Dockers, this hearsay was accepted as so called scientific evidence. If in fact these were recorded shrieks, it begs the question what in heavens did they do to the poor puppies to cause them so much pain!
Interestingly it would appear the A.V.A. was motivated to support a ban on tail docking for another reason. One which has total focus on the hip pocket of veterinarians and not the welfare of the puppies concerned.
In the October 1996 issue of the A.V.A. Journal, page 325 a news article was published as a behind the scenes look, by the A.V.A. and Guild Insurance Claims Committee at a wide range of insurance liability issues. The article is headed Take Care with Tails and Dew Claws ². In part this article says:
Tail docking is controversial within our profession but not illegal.
Practitioners who choose to continue to dock tails should be aware that haemorrhage and death following dew claw and tail removal in young puppies has been a source of client complaint and insurance claims.
It is worth mentioning that there is no recorded evidence of any haemorrhage or death when tails and dew claws are removed by Accredited Dockers. Makes you wander doesn't it!
A.V.A. wants the whole cake and wants to eat it too.
Seems while it suited the A.V.A., in Victoria, for Bob Cameron to be given carte blanche by the Victorian Premier Steve Bracks, on the issue of banning tail docking, they see it differently on other issues.
In a media release Thursday 6 November 2003, Dr Matt Matkin in part says:
AVA Victorian Division President, Dr Matt Makin, says that the new Animals Legislation (Animal Welfare) Bill creates a head of power that effectively allows the Minister for Agriculture to make a law based on a whim without public consultation.
"The legislation allows the Minister for Agriculture to have unlimited power that will go unchecked. The Bill as it currently stands does not allow for free and open debate and this is un-Australian," says Dr Makin.
² A.V.A. October 1996 Journal http://www.ava.com.au/content/avj/oct96/325.htm
³ The four groups which were consulted: