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Thread: Another tail docking survey in Scotland

  1. #1

    Another tail docking survey in Scotland

    Letter in the shooting times from The Royal school of Veterinary Studies Edinburgh are carrying out ANOTHER study into tail damage in gundogs to improve their understanding of the nature of the dogs injuries. Are they going to do endless surveys until they get the answer they and the Holyrood antis want , ( no need for tail docking in working dogs subject closed.
    Why cant they contact the people at Glasgow Uni that did the survey a couple of seasons ago , well it probably did not come up with the answer they wanted.Where are all the shooting bodies that are supposed to represent us ,they take the fees every year . I know the scottish Gamekeepers Association are doing their best but come on the other organisations should put pressure on the Scottish parliament to get this sorted.
    Hoolit

    Every dog deserves a well trained owner.

  2. #2
    Its about time it was overturned mate, since the ban I've went to Wales for my spaniels so they are docked but I think this could be where us in Scotland are going wrong getting our dogs from over the borders etc, last year I got a springer puppy that is undocked if she knocks her tail up and I'm sure she will pictures will be sent to everywhere I can think of.

    I'm a member of the sga and support them in whatever they do and their tail docking petition was no different although I did question them in wether they were also fighting the corner for working terriers as in their picture of the protest I didn't see one single terrier and in their article I seen no mention of them I questioned them about it on fb but didn't get a reply if this is the case and they have no intention of fighting the corner for terriers I won't renew my membership.

  3. #3
    It's amazing that they need yet another survey when the last one laid the case for docking out so well.
    Just goes to show that they will keep asking until they get the answer they want and then act on that

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by perdix View Post
    It's amazing that they need yet another survey when the last one laid the case for docking out so well.
    Did it? The paper was well done and included 99,368 dogs with 2,646,740 individual records over 10 years. They estimate to prevent 1 tail injury in all working dogs you would need to dock 232 dogs preventatively. They calculate that to prevent one spaniel needing its tail amputating you'd have to dock 320.

    Does the pain inflicted on two or three hundred puppies equate to more or less suffering that a tail injury in an adult? I'm not sure I can honestly answer that. My impression of tail injuries in adult dogs is they can be frustrating for owner and vet, but don't usually bother the dog very much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lakies View Post
    I did question them in wether they were also fighting the corner for working terriers as in their picture of the protest I didn't see one single terrier and in their article I seen no mention of them
    The evidence from the above paper does not support the need to dock terriers. Terriers had a lower than average risk of a tail injury compared to the general dog population.

    [I'm in favour of docking, but the supporting evidence is not great. I dock working dogs, and own a docked cocker and a docked Patterdale]

    Section 161 of the Highways Act 1980 (England & Wales) makes it an offence to discharge a firearm within 50 ft of the centre of a highway with vehicular rights without lawful authority or excuse, if as a result a user of the highway is injured, interrupted or endangered.

  5. #5
    Maybe these experts should attend some shoot days I know of 3 undocked dogs on 1 beating team that get burst tails just about every shoot day. Any man who says a spaniel shouldn't have a docked tail is a complete moron and doesn't deserve to voice an opinion as he is obviously way out his depth that gos for terriers also. 1 thing about our government is they will use information to suit themselves and can make out whatever they want to make out. I have done my bit in getting an undocked dog to try it for myself but I feel before the seasons out this young bitch may need an amputation. something doesn't sit right with me and the numbers you put forward from that report mate so far the undocked spaniels I've seen, and not hear say from my own eyes is basically 100% Injury guaranteed, maybe these figures were not all working dogs, who knows but I know 1 thing no matter what we say or vets say if the idiots in suits dont want it it won't be passed. If the sga have forgotten about our little tykes then I will Definetly not be renewing my membership no matter what they do for the industry.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Lakies View Post
    Maybe these experts should attend some shoot days I know of 3 undocked dogs on 1 beating team that get burst tails just about every shoot day. Any man who says a spaniel shouldn't have a docked tail is a complete moron and doesn't deserve to voice an opinion as he is obviously way out his depth that gos for terriers also.
    Such eloquent replies really help the cause

    It's 2014. It's not OK just to chop bits off sentient animals because we did so traditionally - we need evidence that such things are in the animal's best interests. Looking at nearly 100,000 animals with 2.5 million records is a big data set and far more dogs that any individual will ever come across in our individual experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lakies View Post
    1 thing about our government is they will use information to suit themselves and can make out whatever they want to make out.
    To be fair, if there was compelling evidence that docking prevented tail injuries and the incidence in undocked dogs was 100%, then docking would never have been banned in the first place. The truth is the protective effect is small when you measure it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lakies View Post
    I have done my bit in getting an undocked dog to try it for myself but I feel before the seasons out this young bitch may need an amputation. something doesn't sit right with me and the numbers you put forward from that report mate so far the undocked spaniels I've seen, and not hear say from my own eyes is basically 100% Injury guaranteed,
    Then why have these not shown up in the surveyed practices? I can understand some simple tail injuries not showing up in a vets records as they may not need treatment, but all the amputations should have been done in veterinary practices.

    What you have to realise is to change anything we need evidence and not anecdote. Anecdotes are practically worthless in terms of true 'evidence'. The only thing that is going to change the governments mind is sound scientific evidence, and that is lacking. Why? You tell me? (we need 10's of thousands of dogs and statistical significance, not your experience of 1).

    The majority of tail injuries we see are Labradors (the biggest number of animals in the published study). Should we start docking them too? We have a number of undocked spaniels in the practice and whenever I see one I check the tail - rare to see injuries. I've treated tail injuries in docked dogs too, so the protection is not 100%.

    Section 161 of the Highways Act 1980 (England & Wales) makes it an offence to discharge a firearm within 50 ft of the centre of a highway with vehicular rights without lawful authority or excuse, if as a result a user of the highway is injured, interrupted or endangered.

  7. #7
    Its late, but use your head a bit more. If Labradors are getting knocked up tails then why not? I Have a Labrador only once has she burst her tail she's nearly retiring age, work style? A lab will never work cover like a spaniel, fact, it will very seldom be required to even go into the harshest of cover that a spaniel needs to non stop on a shoot day I can't help but feel you will no doubt see more lab tail injuries as going by your location of Yorkshire where it is still legal to dock spaniels then most of the spaniels you come into contact with will be docked . The tail injuries probably didn't show up on vet reports as I have no doubt that most won't see a vet about it which doesn't help our cause but that's the way unfortunately, can you see a keeper 20,30,40 miles plus into the highland going to the vets Everytime his spaniel knocks its tail up? Because I can't . I can tell you for a fact a lot of vets in Scotland are arrogant to the fact that these dogs need to be docked and will not even entertain the idea of amputating a tail , all amputations should be done in a vets but the sad fact is not many will do it so the lads who have said dogs either live with the problem or rehome the dogs to pet homes I know both has happened. I am fortunate enough to have found a good vet and should my spaniel injure her tail every single time it happens no matter how small I will be taking her there, I hope she doesn't need an amputation as its obviously hellish for a dog to go through but if it needs done then that's what will need to happen. I know we need evidence I have said in previous posts that were not helping ourselves going over the border for pups but the truth is its so much easier to just go to England Wales or Ireland and get a docked dog than put up with a dog with an undocked tail and have the worry on us. You can hit me with all the data and numbers you want mate I'm going with what I've seen with my own eyes I'm not reading daft articles about this and that I'm out there working dogs and in amongst working dogs every single day of my life the trouble is there's people in suits reading these reports and they are the ones that's bringing in thick laws such as this one were discussing.

    Spare me the "such eloquent replies" rubbish mate your not sitting at a table with salmond, I'm a realist who works dogs and I stand by my "eloquent" reply that anybody who thinks spaniels shouldn't be docked is a moron you've said whatever number of docked puppies 232 need to be done to prevent 1 injury, then I'm telling you 3 spaniels In 1 team have knocked their tails on a shoot day wether tts minimal or not an injury is an injury that's your proof that reading these hi-tech reports doesn't come near getting out there and seeing the dogs working.
    Last edited by Lakies; 27-07-2014 at 01:11.

  8. #8
    Firstly my 'eloquent replies' was meant as a leg pull, and hence is followed by a winking smilie. It doesn't help though when anyone tries to have a serious conversation about such things and someone inevitably gets angry and tells an anecdote about their own shoot etc.

    There is an opportunity for the industry to go out and gather the evidence. The study needs to be conducted in a scientific way with control animals. It need not be expensive to run and could include a lot of dogs. A simple study could be done looking at working spaniels on shoots and looking at the incidence of tail injuries in docked versus undocked. The control animals would need to be on the same shoot to take local factors into account.

    The problem is if the data is generated by the people who want docking allowed there is a danger that each shoot adds a couple of extra injuries to the undocked dogs. I guess the animals would have to be examined by a vet/external party to corroborate the results.

    It is a weakness of the study mentioned that some of the uninjured spaniels would not be working dogs.

    One of the shooting organisations could easily run with this. I might email Edinburgh Uni to see if they will give me any more information as to what they are doing. The short letter implies they are only going to be looking at working dogs. Their biggest problem will be getting the numbers that give scientific weight to the results.

    I do fear the evidence for docking terriers just won't exist, and we may end up having to get used to them with long tails.

    [As I keep saying, I am for docking. I dock working dogs. I have 2 docked dogs. The problem is the evidence for its protective effect is weak. We can either accept that or try and gather some better evidence to show a benefit. Offering to show someone a few dogs on a single shoot will gain nobody anything. I'm trying to help here - believe it or not]

    Section 161 of the Highways Act 1980 (England & Wales) makes it an offence to discharge a firearm within 50 ft of the centre of a highway with vehicular rights without lawful authority or excuse, if as a result a user of the highway is injured, interrupted or endangered.

  9. #9
    I have Spaniels all docked every litter I have bread all docked never a tail problem. Have been on shoots beating and these days picking up for 58 years never seen a damaged tail in a docked Spaniel. Over the last 3-4 years I have observed 5 undocked Spaniels all got tail injuries that to me equates to 100% unless my maths are wrong. Most dog men avoid vets like the plauge as the small animal owners are now the vets cash cow. The 5 dogs that got tail damage to my knowlege did not attend a vets surgery therefore not on the statistic list how many more cases like this I wonder.

    Jimbo

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo 30 06 View Post
    Most dog men avoid vets like the plauge as the small animal owners are now the vets cash cow. The 5 dogs that got tail damage to my knowlege did not attend a vets surgery therefore not on the statistic list how many more cases like this I wonder.
    So to take that to one of the two logical conclusions:

    1. Tail injuries are not a welfare issue for dogs. They are not causing them pain or distress. Therefore there is no need to dock dogs tails in the first place.

    2. People are going against their legal and moral responsibilities to the animals under their care and not seeking veterinary attention when the animals require it. It is a criminal offence to cause pain or suffering to an animal by not seeking professional care. Obviously if tail injuries were painful and distressing then their would be a justification in prophylactic docking.

    Your call.

    [Personally I'd argue that all but the most minor do require veterinary treatment, but what do I know]

    Section 161 of the Highways Act 1980 (England & Wales) makes it an offence to discharge a firearm within 50 ft of the centre of a highway with vehicular rights without lawful authority or excuse, if as a result a user of the highway is injured, interrupted or endangered.

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