7 JULY 1950, Page 20

Docked Tails

SIR,—I would beg a little space from you in order that rmay answer Lord Dunsany's challenge that no logical argument can be brought forward in favour of the docking of dogs' tails. Apart from working dogs, i.e., greyhounds, foxhounds, collies, gun-dogs, hunt terriers, etc., the majority of household dogs are maintained either as ornaments or indulgencies. If people consider that a docked tail improves the aesthetic conformation of a dog that is maintained as an ornament; then surely the logical thing to do is to dock the dog's tail. If a dog's function is to be pleasing to the eye, then it would appear that any reasonable measure taken to assist that function is justified.

Though I fully appreciate Lord Dunsany's obvious concern for the well-being of beasts 1 would add that my experience as a veterinary surgeon convinces me that his concern is, in this particular matter, a trifle misguided. After seeing literally thousands of pet dogs whose condition of diseased, degraded, hideous and disgusting unloveliness arises, not from the execution of any barbarous rite, but rather from the sloth, ignorance and neglect of the so called dog-loving owners, I am quite convinced that almost any treatment is excusable provided a dog is kept in good bodily condition. The removal of a puppy's tail on the third day of its life as a concession to the personal taste of the owner would seem to me to be the merest triviality compared with the enormous amount of witless cruelty inflicted upon pet dogs through the unpardon- able offences of ignorance and neglect.-1 am, Sir, your obedient servant,


London Stadiums Kennels, Hanworth Road, Sunbury, Middlesex.