Pair plead guilty to having their dogs illegally docked

A MOTHER and son from St Leonards have admitted having their puppies’ tails docked illegally at their home.

Rachel Harbour, 43, and her son Bill Harbour, aged 20, of Paxhill Close, pleaded guilty to having the tails illegally docked from the springer spaniel puppies in August.

They appeared before Hastings magistrates last Thursday (November 15) and pleaded guilty to an offence under section 6 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 of causing the tails of four springer spaniel puppies to be removed by another person.

Both were ordered to pay £140 costs each and given a 16-month conditional discharge at last week’s court hearing.

Magistrates heard the family invited someone to their home to dock four of the puppies’ tails.

Tail docking can only be carried out by a qualified veterinary surgeon and even then only under strict conditions.
RSPCA inspector Andrew Kirby said: “It has been illegal for six years now to have puppies’ tails docked, unless it can be proven that they will be working dogs and then only by a qualified vet.

“This family cut the tails off the puppies just in the greedy hope that they would get more money selling them – there is no excuse.

“To get someone to come to your house and cut the tails off your puppies is, quite simply, a criminal offence and cruel.”

If anyone would like to help the RSPCA, they can donate £3 now by texting HELP to 78866 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).