Dog tail docking couple in court

'BAD advice' from a vet led to a couple having the tails of five Dobermann puppies illegally docked, Harborough magistrates heard.

Adetunji Joaosho (56), formerly principal vet at the Great Glen Veterinary Centre, told a couple it was legal to dock the puppies’ tails provided they were going to be working dogs, the court heard on Tuesday.

However, this was advice which landed Janet Read (37) and her husband Neil (47) in hot water.

The couple, of Whitebarn Drive, Cosby, near Countesthorpe, appeared at Harborough Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday where each pleaded guilty to one count of causing the vet to remove a dog’s tail for a purpose other than the animal’s medical treatment and one charge of failing to prevent another person from removing that dog’s tail, at Great Glen Veterinary Centre on June 30 this year.

The court heard RSPCA officers found adverts for ‘legally docked’ Dobermann puppies posted by the Reads on the internet last summer.

Docking, in which the tail is cropped close to the animal’s body, was made illegal in the 2006 Animal Welfare Act, though there are exemptions from the ban for working dogs.

The Reads advertised their puppies as guard dogs – an activity not included in the exemptions.

Imogen Cox, for the couple, said the Reads had carried out research into the legality of the procedure before checking with the Joaosho, who had told them it was legal.

“If the vet had told them that it was illegal then of course they wouldn’t have gone ahead with it,” she said.

Magistrates gave the couple to a two-year conditional discharge and ordered them to pay costs of 50 each.

Joaosho, of Woodnewton Drive, Leicester, faces two charges relating to the docking and will appear at Leicester Magistrates’ Court on June 4.