Docking Q & A for Competitors

 

1. Question :Am I allowed to show my dogs that are already docked?

Answer: It will depend on where you are in the UK.

In England, any dog which was docked before the 6 April 2007 can be shown at any show.

In Wales, any dog which was docked before the 28 March 2007 can be shown at any show.

In Scotland, any dog which was docked before the 30 April 2007 can be shown at any show.

In Northern Ireland, any dog which was docked before the 1 January 2013 can be shown at any show.

2. Question: Does that mean even at shows where the public pay to enter?

Answer: Yes this covers all shows.

3. Question: Am I allowed to show my dogs if they are LEGALLY docked now the law has changed?

Answer:

For shows held in England:

  • Shows with a paying gate where the public is charged for admission
  • No. You are not allowed to show any dog which is docked on or after 6 April 2007 - irrespective of where it was docked - at any event where the public is admitted on payment of a fee.
  • Shows where the public is not charged for admission
  • If the show does not charge the public a fee for admission, then you are allowed to show any dog which is legally docked on or after the 6 April 2007 - irrespective of where it was legally docked.

For shows held in Wales:

  • Shows with a paying gate where the public is charged for admission:

No. You are not allowed to show any dog which is docked on or after 28 March 2007 - irrespective of where it was docked - at any event where the public is admitted on payment of a fee.

  • Shows where the Public is not charged for Admission:

If the show does not charge the public a fee for admission, then you are allowed to show any dog which is legally docked on or after the 28 March 2007 - irrespective of where it was legally docked.

For shows held in Scotland:

  • Whilst docking is completely banned in Scotland since 30 April 2007, legally docked dogs born in England, Wales, Northern Ireland or overseas may be shown at all shows.

For shows held in Northern Ireland:

  • From 1 January 2013, it is also an offence to show a dog, which had its tail docked on or after this date, at events where the exhibitor pays a fee or members of the public pay an admittance fee.
  • This does not apply to dogs who had their tails docked prior to 1 January 2013 or where a dog is shown solely for the purposes of demonstrating its working ability.


N.B Dogs which have been ILLEGALLY docked are not permitted to be shown at shows licensed by the Kennel Club, the Scottish Kennel Club or the Welsh Kennel Club.

4. Question: Does all this mean that dogs which are docked after the 6th of April 2007, won't be allowed to be shown at Crufts?

Answer: Yes it does. As Crufts charges the public for admission, the law in England declares that even dogs legally docked on or after 6 April 2007 will not be allowed to be shown there. It does not matter where they were docked - the law says that if the docking was on or after 6 April 2007 - they may not be exhibited at shows such as Crufts.

All dogs docked before 6 April 2007 will however still be able to be shown at Crufts.

5. Question: Does the law apply only to shows licensed by the Kennel Club?

Answer: No - the ban on showing in England, Northern Ireland and Wales applies to all shows if there is a charge made to the public for admission.

6. Question: What if my dog was docked overseas?

Answer: The law in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, for shows with a paying gate, applies to all dogs wherever they were born or wherever they were docked.  So even a dog born in the USA, docked after the law changes and registered for example with the American Kennel Club, will not be allowed to be shown at any show in England, Northern Ireland and Wales which has a paying gate.

Dogs docked before the law changed, may be shown at all shows but dogs docked legally after this time may only be shown at shows where there is no paying gate in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, or at all shows held in Scotland.

Dogs docked illegally may not be shown at all - at licensed shows in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

N.B - The owner of any dog, from any country, which was docked on or after 6 April 2007 (28 March 2007 for shows in Wales) must apply to the Kennel Club for permission to show before competing. Applications must be put in writing to The Kennel Club, Clarges Street, London, W1J 8AB, UK.

7. Question: Why can I continue to show a LEGALLY docked dog at all shows held in Scotland?

Answer: The law in Scotland is different from that in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, since there is a total ban on docking in Scotland but no ban on the showing of legally docked dogs there.  So if you have a legally docked dog you may show it at any show in Scotland - whether or not the show charges the public for entry.

N.B - Dogs which have been ILLEGALLY docked are not permitted to be shown at any shows licensed by the Kennel Club, the Scottish Kennel Club or the Welsh Kennel Club.

8. Question: What if I have a gundog which is legally docked in England or Wales after the law changed, and I want to enter the Gamekeepers' classes at a show?

Answer: This will still fall under the definition of showing a dog and will therefore be illegal if the show charges the public a fee for admission.

9. Question: What breeds of dog are exempted from the docking ban in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, and may continue to be docked legally?

Answer: The breeds in which docking may continue in England and Northern Ireland include Spaniels, Terriers, Hunt Point Retrieve Breeds and any combination of these breeds.

In Wales, docking is only allowed in Spaniels, Terriers and Hunt Point Retrieve Breeds but not any combination of these breeds.

In all countries, this is legal providing they will be used to work and the veterinary surgeon is provided with the appropriate evidence of this (but see under Breeder Section below).

10. Question: Has the Kennel Club altered breed standards as a result of the changes in the law?

Answer: No- there is no current intention to alter Kennel Club Breed Standards and the standards of those breeds with optional docking clauses will remain unchanged so as to accommodate dogs docked legally either before or after the introduction of the terms of the Acts.

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