Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), has clarified
that dogs with docked tails may take part in all agility trials in
England and Wales, including those where the public have paid for
admission. There is no change to the position in Scotland where
legally docked dogs have never been banned from events where the
public pay to enter.
clarification confirms that 'legally docked dogs' taking part in
agility qualify for an exemption from a general ban on the showing
of docked dogs. It means that working dogs do not have to be
excluded from the various agility shows which are held within
larger events such as country fairs, where the public pay for
admission. They are also able to participate in agility finals at
events such as Crufts, Olympia, and Discover Dogs.
Welfare Act banned the docking of dogs' tails after 6 April 2007
(after 28 March 2007 in Wales, and 30 April 2007 in Scotland). In
England and Wales (but not Scotland), docking is still allowed for
certain types of working dog - essentially spaniels, terriers and
hunt, point and retrieve (HPR) breeds - if carried out by a vet who
has been given specific evidence that the dogs will be used for
certain types of work, primarily as gundogs.
The Act also
banned the showing of dogs with 'legally docked' tails at shows in
England and Wales where members of the public pay an admission
charge (in Scotland there is a total ban on docking but no
prohibition on showing dogs with docked tails). However there is an
exemption (in England and Wales) if the dog is shown 'only for the
purpose of demonstrating their working ability', even where the
public pay an entrance charge.
clarification from Defra reads: 'As you are aware, there is a ban
on the showing of docked dogs at events to which members of the
public are admitted on payment of a fee, however, there are
exemptions from this ban. The ban does not apply to certified
docked working dogs being shown only for the purpose of
demonstrating their working ability (for example, in agility
trials). A certified docked working dog cannot be shown for any
were docked earlier than 6 April 2007 (or the equivalent dates in
Wales and Scotland) are unaffected by the legislation and can be
shown at any type of show. Illegally docked dogs may not be entered
in any Kennel Club event.