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Animal Welfare

Oireachtas Committee recommends ban on owning dogs with cropped ears

At present there is no law in place against owning a dog with cropped ears.

AN OIREACHTAS COMMITTEE has recommended a ban be implemented on owning dogs with cropped ears. 

In a report on canine welfare, the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee said it is concerned that there are untrained people carrying out illegal procedures of ear cropping on dogs to meet market demands for a certain cosmetic aesthetic of a dog breed. 

Cropping the ears of dogs is an offence in Ireland. However, at present there is no law in place against owning a dog with cropped ears. 

According to the Department of Agriculture, authorised officers currently have no legal basis to seize dogs or otherwise sanction those in possession of such dogs, unless the owner admits to carrying out the procedure or having someone else carry it out on their behalf. 

In the report, the Committee said it is currently difficult to prosecute those who have performed the procedure unless they are caught in the act. 

“There may be a lack of general public awareness of the emotional and physical pain that occurs to a dog during and as a result of this procedure,” the report said. 

The Committee said it recommends that there is a ban on owning dogs with cropped ears. 

The Committee noted that this would require a period of amnesty and recommended that an information campaign is carried out by the Department of Agriculture to inform the public of the impact that the procedure has on a dog’s wellbeing. 

Dogs Trust, a dog welfare charity, welcomed the report published today. 

“Dogs are having their ears painfully mutilated, purely for cosmetic purposes and selling platforms are full of illegal and misleading advertisements,” Dogs Trust executive director Suzie Carley said. 

“These abhorrent practices have no place in our society and we would like to see them rapidly stamped out,” she said. 

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