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Animals, Volume 8, Issue 6 (June 2018)
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Cover Story (view full-size image) Reasons for widespread bans or restrictions on tail docking of canine puppies have been reassessed [...] Read more. Reasons for widespread bans or restrictions on tail docking of canine puppies have been reassessed in light of more up-to-date scientific information. It was concluded that the contribution of the tail to canine communication has been seriously underestimated, and the capacity of young puppies to consciously experience any pain during docking has been markedly overestimated. The likely occurrence of chronic pain and heightened pain sensitivity after docking is reaffirmed as very high, and other harmful effects of unknown prevalence are also apparent. Prof David Mellor of Massey University’s Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre says, “The lifelong impaired communication and occurrence of chronic pain and heightened pain sensitivity still strongly justify banning non-therapeutic tail docking of puppies. Most docking clearly represents the unnecessary removal of a necessary appendage.” View Paper here.