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Report that dog ear cropping increased by 621% over the last six years to 2020 in the UK

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Ear-cropped Dobermann

The RSPCA tells us that there has been a 621% increase in the number of reports of dog ear cropping over the last six years to 2020. The Times newspaper also reports that in 2021 the RSPCA had 188 reports of dog ear cropping up from 101 in 2020. My personal view is that it is barbaric and almost as bad cat declawing. Declawing is worse in part because veterinarians do it against their oath.

Ricky Gervais finds dog ear cropping disgusting

Ricky Gervais finds dog ear cropping disgusting. The dog he is with has all his ears thankfully. Picture: PA.

RELATED: Ear-cropping and declawing: modifying the anatomy of companion animals is a cruel human habit

This is a near doubling in dog ear cropping as breeders exploit loopholes in UK laws which bans the practice. It is illegal to ear crop in the UK but it is legal to buy dogs that have been ear cropped overseas and then imported into the country.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) reported on 12 May 2021 that under new measures unveiled in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare published on that date by the UK government it is stated that people will be banned from bringing dogs with cropped ears into the UK. The UK government has pledged to: “Prioritise the health and welfare of dogs by prohibiting the importation and non-commercial movement of dogs into Great Britain that have been subject to low welfare practices such as ear cropping or tail docking”.

Ear-cropped Dobermann

Ear-cropped Dobermann. Image: BVA.


The UK government’s statement and intention came less than a month after a petition calling for this action in order to close loopholes that permit dogs with cropped ears to come to the country. The petition gathered 100,000 signatures. It was spearheaded by the BVA and The FOAL Group.

The BVA say that ear cropping is intensely painful and of course it carries no welfare benefits for dogs. It is normally carried out on young dogs.

A worrying trend is the number of social media influencers and celebrities who have paraded their dogs with cropped ears on social media without denouncing the practice.

Other celebrities and known animal advocates such as Ricky Gervais and Ross Kemp the actor and TV presenter have strongly denounced it. For instance, Ricky Gervais said:

“It’s horrific to think that something as barbaric as ear cropping still goes on. It causes these poor dogs so much suffering and it’s completely unnecessary. To think anyone would do this to an animal just for the sake of image is disgusting.”

Jordan Shelley, co-founder of The FOAL Group said “We’re very pleased to hear that the government will be prioritising the health and welfare of dogs by aligning importation rules with domestic legislation.”

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