The RSPCA is urging people not to buy dogs with cropped ears after a surge in the number of reports about the illegal practise.
Cropping involves cutting the animal’s ears often for cosmetic reasons and then placing splints inside – forcing them to grow upwards.
The animal charity has described the procedure as “painful and entirely unnecessary”.
Although ear cropping became unlawful in England and Wales in 2007, some owners still attempt the surgery themselves and it is not against the law to import dogs which have already been cropped.
One company describing itself as the largest provider of cropped dobermans in the UK charges between £2,000 and £3,000 for an imported puppy.
Dobermans UK argues on its website that the animal is bred for personal protection and as such fully endorses “ethical” cropping.
It says: “Often the ear set will result in long hanging ears that droop which detracts from the look of the chiselled, wedge shaped head.
“Our cropped dobermans have a more alert and striking look.”
One online video from an unconnected doberman owner in Canada explicitly shows how tampons wrapped with sticky tape are inserted into a dog’s ear canal after cropping in an effort to make what remains of the ear stand erect.
The RSPCA in Halifax has cared for a number of cropped puppies and believe there’s no such as thing as “ethical” cropping.
RSPCA officer Mike Cuthbert told Sky News: “They go through horrific trauma when it happens. Even with anaesthetic it’s not nice for them.
“When its done without it’s just barbaric. I find it absolutely disgusting when somebody mutilates an animal – and it is mutilation just for what they (the owners) want. There’s no consideration of the animal at all.”
But one major importer of cropped animals has strongly defended the practise in certain circumstances.
Leedor Borlant is a former dog rescue charity worker who is now joint owner of Protection Dogs Worldwide, a company based in East Yorkshire which supplies highly trained dogs to wealthy clients around the world. He believes the RSPCA is pursuing a “one size fits all” solution.
“We specialise in supplying family dogs for protection and obedience – its vital to what we do that they are cropped and docked. It isn’t for aesthetics or any vanity it is simply for the health of the dog,” he said.
Mr Borlant accepts that many owners crop their dogs for reasons of vanity but he argues that the ears of dogs which go through rigorous training often become cut and blistered.
“I’m not in this to put dogs through pain. I’m in this to provide people with a well-balanced dog and for the dog to have a happy life,” he said.
From – SkyNews