Thank you for contacting me about dogs with cropped ears.
The practice of non-exempted mutilations such as cropping dogs' ears is abhorrent and has rightly been banned in the UK for 15 years. Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, it is already an offence in England and Wales to carry out a non-exempted mutilation (such as where it is not carried out for medical purposes), including the cropping of a dog's ears. Under the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act 2021, anyone convicted of such an offence faces being sent to prison for up to five years, or receiving an unlimited fine, or both.
The Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill introduces measures relating to the welfare of pets moving into Great Britain and includes powers to introduce further restrictions on pet travel and on the commercial import of pets on welfare grounds, via secondary legislation. These powers will allow the Government to prioritise the 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, in line with the UK’s domestic legislation on these practices.
The Kept Animals Bill was carried over into this parliamentary session following the Queen’s Speech in May 2022. My ministerial colleagues and I recognise that there is strong support for the Bill across Parliament and I am assured that it will return to the House as soon as parliamentary time allows.
Thank you again for taking the time to get in touch.