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Wicklow man pleads guilty to four offences under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013

In Bray District Court on 13th September 2016 A Wicklow man was ordered to pay a €625 contribution to the ISPCA and €625 in state costs after pleading guilty to four offences under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013, including causing the tails of puppies to be unlawfully removed, obstructing an Authorised Officer and failing to assist an Authorised Officer.

The case resulted from a visit made to the owner’s home by ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling and Inspector Michael Keane in May 2015 following a tip off from a website that had flagged an advertisement of puppies for sale with suspected docked tails.

The court heard that Chief Inspector Dowling observed an adult female Jack Russell Terrier dog and six-week old puppies with docked tails and that, when he spoke with the owner by telephone, the man admitted that a veterinary surgeon had not been involved in the tail docking procedure.

When Chief Inspector Dowling advised of his intention to take possession of the puppies, the owner became extremely hostile. The Inspectors were forced to leave the property, but returned shortly afterwards with Garda assistance. The Gardai were unable to locate the dog and puppies on the property and the owner refused to disclose their location.

ISPCA Inspector Dowling said, “The docking of puppies’ tails by laypersons has been an offence under the Animal Health and Welfare Act since March 2014. People have to realise that the removal of tails for aesthetic reasons is no longer acceptable and that those who unlawfully perform or organise this painful procedure are liable to be prosecuted.”

Members of the public should report animal welfare concerns to the ISPCA by contacting the National Animal Cruelty Helpline on 1890 515 515 or report in confidence via the online cruelty complaint form.

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