Strict exemption will allow docking of working dogs to continue
An attempt to ban all docking of dogs tails failed by 11 votes at the Report Stage of the Animal Welfare Bill in the House of Commons last night, after a concerted lobbying campaign inside and outside Westminster by a coalition of organisations.
The Countryside Alliance, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation and the
Under the Bill a vet will have to certify that the dog is likely to work in security, search and rescue, pest control or lawful shooting activities later in life and docked dogs will have to be identity chipped before three months of age. Defra have not yet announced the documentation that will be needed to support certification, but it may include the production of a firearms certificate or a counter signatory system similar to that for shotgun certificates.
Simon Hart, Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance said: “There could not be a better example of the importance of co-ordinated lobbying by a coalition of organisations. Our campaign revealed that contrary to the claims of the animal rights lobby there was no majority of public support for a total ban and there were senior vets who argued that the welfare of working dogs was best protected by allowing the practice to continue.
“Working with the Government we produced a compromise that will be practical for the shooting community and which, crucially, gave MPs confidence that only working dogs would continue to be docked.
“But this vote could not have been won without the input of thousands of ordinary working dog owners making the case to their MPs up and down the country. Constituency lobbying of MPs by the voters who elect them is always more effective than even the best
“This vote was far too close for comfort and the lesson for the shooting community is clear: lobbying and campaigning does work, but we must become more organised, motivated and effective to fight for shooting at
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Seven people were arrested after the incident, which happened as the East Sussex and Romney Marsh Hunt held a trail hunt on Monday.
Hunt members said that a group of 30 saboteurs, many wearing balaclavas and carrying fence posts and bricks, had turned up to their meet.
They said that the victim, a farmer in his late twenties, had been following on a quad bike when he became separated from the rest of the 25-strong hunt.
He was allegedly pulled from his machine and set upon by a group of seven saboteurs.
The farmer was taken to Conquest Hospital in Hastings and later transferred to Hurstwood Park Hospital, Haywards Heath, where he remained in a serious but stable condition last night.
James Hallett, a spokesman for the hunt, said: "These people call themselves hunt monitors but they were being very aggressive.
"Two of our supporters went back to try to help but one of those was also hit and bruised and another lady's horse was hit."
A spokesman for Sussex Police said that officers were called to farmland in
Broad Oak, near Rye, at 11.40am on Monday to reports of clashes between anti-hunt protesters and supporters.
She said that five men and two women, five from London and two from Hertfordshire, had been arrested on suspicion of a public order offence and remained in custody.
The lad who helps out with the terrier work was beaten by these so called animal rights people.
They have no interest in animal welfare and are just Thugs, be aware they are out there,so keep on your toes.