IL:Cropping and Docking Prevent Dog Deaths

Posted on 02/19/2009

In Illinois we have a bill that will put our dogs health at risk. Cropping and docking help keep working dogs healthy. Please use these links to contact your politician and tell him to oppose this bill.
Here’s some possible talking points for crop/dock:

1. It provides no provision for preventive measures of crop/dock to
be performed by veterinarians when the dog is a puppy, not even for
breeds used in their traditional roles. It only allows for crop/dock
for medical reasons after the adult dog is injured. Therefore, it does not provide for the humane care of dogs, especially for traditionally docked working and hunting breeds which often incur serious and painful tail injures while performing their work as adults. Such tail injuries often result in tail amputation for the dog, a much more risky and painful surgical procedure for the dog, and costly for its owner.

2. Since the new AVMA policy does allow for “preventive” crop/dock,
allowing that it be done only by vets for “medical reasons” may make this bill in conflict with the Illinois Veterinary Medicine and Surgery Practice Act of 2004 in which a veterinarian is allowed
to practice medicine in the best interests of the pet, and making
decisions with the pet’s owner concerning the pet’s health. (I’m posting the background of this separately in a second post.)

3. It provides no way that current owners of docked dogs who do not
have “veterinary proof” that a vet performed the procedure, or proof
of the date it was done (to show before enactment of law) to escape
being caught up in a Class 3 felony charge!

4. Purebred AKC and other registry dog shows could not allow classes
for docked breeds, since these owners normally would not be able to
provide ready proof when or who did the docking; again, they’d be
subject to a Class 3 felony charge! And, an AKC regulation prohibits classes containing cropped dogs in a state where the practice is illegal – so these breeds cannot be shown under AKC auspices in IL should this pass.

5. This would decimate rescue of docked breeds since of course who
has these rescue dogs’ history medical history as to who and when the cropping and docking was done? and their “adopters” again could be charged with a Class 3 felony, so cropped/docked rescue dogs would have to be euthanized (my understanding is that this was a major argument against the Pennsylvania crop/dock bill last year which was defeated)!

6. Docking tails when done at the typical
age (of less than one week) is a very simple and safe procedure
frequently performed by the breeder at his/her home. Involving a
veterinarian as required by this bill would create extra expense to
the breeder; stress to the puppies and the dam if the puppies had to
be separated to be taken in to the vet; and would also expose the
puppies to non-home bacteria if they were taken in to the vet for
which they received no maternal antibodies, thereby causing increased
risk of infection at a vulnerable young age.

7. This cropping/docking ban is a thinly veiled attempt to stop the traditional uses of dogs representing the hunting, working and terrier breeds who are cropped or docked

8. Since a conviction is a animal related class 3 felony, the
owner/breeder convicted under Amendment Section 12-36 of the 1961 IL
Criminal Code would not be able to own intact pets for 10 years after
their release from prison! (in other words they would have to
disperse or s/n all breeding stock owned, and also could not be
licensed in IL for any other animal related business.) Furthermore
any dog they owned would have to be microchipped for permanent
identification. See
for the “felony conviction/intact dogs” law: