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Posted: 13th May 2021

Campaigners welcome support for #CutTheCrop campaign
Current legislation enables the importation of dogs that have undergone ear cropping in countries where it remains legal.
UK government to ban the importation of dogs with cropped ears. 

Animal welfare campaigners are celebrating after the government pledged to curb the rising number of dogs being imported into the UK with cropped ears.

Under new measures announced in the government’s Animal Welfare Action Plan, people will be prohibted from bringing dogs with cropped ears into the country. The plan, which includes a range of measures to protect the welfare of pets, livestock and creatures in the wild, states:

“Prioritise the health and welfare of dogs by prohibiting the importation and non-commercial movement of dogs into Great Britain that have been subject to low welfare practices, such as ear cropping or tail docking, in line with our domestic legislation on these practices.” 

While ear cropping is banned in the UK, current legislation enables the importation of dogs that have undergone procedures like ear cropping and tail docking in countries where it remains legal. 

The announcement comes less than four weeks after a petition calling for action on ear cropping passed 100,000 signatures. The petition, which will remain open until August 2021, is being led by the BVA and the FOAL Group in collaboration with an array of veterinary and animal welfare organisations.

BVA senior vice president Daniella Dos Santos described the government's announcement as a ‘huge victory for animal welfare’.

“The strength and depth of support for the campaign has signalled loud and clear that we need to do whatever it takes to prohibit imports, but there is also work to do to root out illegal practice of this completely unnecessary mutilation in the UK,” she said. “BVA and our members are happy to help the Government with whatever is needed to help bring these measures into play at the earliest possible opportunity.”

Jordan Shelley, co-founder of The FOAL Group, added: “This change will help to both stop the unnecessary suffering of dogs abroad and those here in the UK by removing the smokescreen importation provides to illegal cropping and docking. 

“We thank the Government for this commitment and all the organisations and individuals that have pushed the campaign to this point. We urge everyone to continue using the remaining time the petition is open to keep the campaign front and centre, to continue to raise awareness and educate the public on why this rising trend must end.”

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