Docking Q & A for Competitors

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

Answer: It will depend on where in the UK the show is held and when the dog was docked.

For shows held in England:

Dogs docked before the 6 April 2007
• Can be shown at any show, including those where the public pay to enter.

Dogs docked on or after 6 April 2007
• 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.
• At any event where the public is admitted on payment of a fee you are not allowed to show any dog which is docked on or after 6 April 2007 - irrespective of where it was docked.

For shows held in Wales:
Dogs docked before the 28 March 2007
• Can be shown at any show, including those where the public pay to enter.

Dogs docked on or after 28 March 2007
• 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.
• at any event where the public is admitted on payment of a fee you are not allowed to show any dog which is docked on or after 28 March 2007- irrespective of where it was docked.

For shows held in Scotland:

• Legally docked dogs can be shown at all shows, irrespective of when the docking took place or if the public are charged to enter.

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.

2. Question: Does all this mean that dogs which are docked in England and Wales 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.

3. 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.

4. 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 at a Kennel Club licensed show before competing. Applications must be put in writing to The Kennel Club, Clarges Street, London, W1J 8AB, UK.

5. 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.

6. Question: What breeds of dog are exempted from the docking ban in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland 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 Scotland docking was initially banned completely under the Animal Health and Welfare Scotland Act 2006 but was legalised again for working dogs (Spaniels, Terriers, Hunt Point Retrieve Breeds and any combination of these breeds) on 28th June 2017.

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).

7. 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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