Ear Cropping In Dogs
I have to admit that I have only recently become aware of the bizarre and cruel practice of ear cropping in dogs.
I couldn’t think of a single reason why anyone would perform this procedure and when I looked into it further I found that it is banned in many countries. Here in England, the practice is banned, (Animal Welfare Act 2006) but it was first outlawed way back in 1899. However, in the past five years, reports have risen significantly.
Veterinarians are not allowed to perform the operation unless it is for strictly medical reasons.
However, it is becoming more popular and some breeders are continuing to carry out this purely cosmetic procedure. Social media influencers and celebrities have posted photographs of their own dogs with cropped ears, and made this despicable procedure fashionable.
It’s illegal, so how is ear cropping being carried out?
Some dogs are brought in from countries where the procedure is still legal or puppies are sent overseas to have the cropping done.
The RSPCA have asked people to report any incidences of ear cropping and to refrain from buying theses puppies. They have reported a 621% increase in ear cropping in the last five years.
Which breeds are affected?
Why ear cropping in dogs takes place.
One reason that the process was carried out was to preserve traditional breed standards. However, breeds which were historically cropped are now encouraged to enter the show ring in their natural state.
Three hundred years ago, ear cropping was believed to cut down the risk of ear infections of long or floppy eared dogs. These days we know that the shape of a dogs ear does not affect its propensity towards ear infections.
In fighting breeds it was believed that by cropping the ears the aggressor would not be able to take hold of the dog or rip the ears with teeth.
It was believed that Boxers hearing would improve if their ears were cropped.
Nowadays the operation is performed because it is believed to make the dog look tougher and more intimidating. Celebrities are making dogs with cropped ears more desirable and raising their popularity.
How are dog’s ears cropped?
The procedure was once performed on six to ten week old puppies with ordinary shears or even twisted off just after birth. The ears were either rounded, cut to a point or removed completely. They were then stitched and taped to produce the desired shape of ear. It is not known if the animals were given any pain management or if the wounds were checked regularly for infection.
As well as physical pain for many weeks whilst the wounds healed, the dogs were also known to suffer psychologically too. Not surprisingly dogs have been found to be anxious and lack trust in humans.
Dog lovers are very aware that dogs use their ears as a form of communication. They can signal to owners and others dogs when they are fearful, sick, stressed or relaxed.
We need to bring in an import ban on dogs who have had this cosmetic procedure performed and also raise awareness that this practice is cruel and completely unnecessary.
Many celebrities are misinformed about the practice and may post photographs of their pets without realising that they are increasing popularity for dogs with cropped ears.
Advertising companies should be informed that by using cropped eared dogs, they are making this appearance normal and acceptable.
By increasing awareness no-one should purchase a mutilated puppy in total ignorance.
Thank you for reading.