News & Press: NZVA media release

NZVA thrilled with hard-fought end to tail docking in New Zealand

Tuesday, 18 July 2017  
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The New Zealand Veterinarian Association (NZVA), and veterinarians across the country, are celebrating the news that tail docking will be banned.

The veterinary profession has welcomed the news this morning that Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy, in consideration of international practice, the scientific evidence in our submissions, and New Zealand’s strong reputation for high animal welfare standards, supports the view that it is time to prohibit non-therapeutic docking of dog tails.

Veterinarians have refused for many years to provide non-therapeutic tail docking services. This has been supported by the New Zealand Veterinary Association through their policies and by the Veterinary Council of New Zealand (VCNZ) within their Code of Professional Conduct.

The New Zealand Veterinary Association is pleased that this new regulation will finally put an end to the practice of allowing lay people to dock puppy’s tails without pain management through the accredited tail banders scheme.

Tail docking is a significant surgical procedure, regardless of the age at which it is carried out. The New Zealand Veterinary Association looks forward to a future where tail removal will only ever be performed by a veterinarian to benefit the dogs’ welfare.

The announcement today concludes over two decades of campaigning by veterinarians, to speak up for animals that did not have a voice. NZVA’s Companion Animal spokesperson Rochelle Ferguson says this is a momentous occasion for all veterinarians who have fought for this change.

"It’s been a long journey, with the baton passed along to successive veterinarians for over two decades. As we cross the finish line today, The NZVA is proud of the commitment shown by all of the profession in upholding animal welfare and ensuring every dog has a tail to tell."