Warning after ‘barbaric’ ear cropping to Norfolk dogs
PUBLISHED: 06:45 08 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:08 08 March 2020
Potential dog owners are being urged not to buy animals with cropped ears after a rise in reports of the illegal practice to the RSPCA.
The charity's cruelty hotline has seen an increase of concerned calls about dogs with cropped ears and "bleeding, stitched up wounds" in Dereham, Diss and Lowestoft.
In 2015, the RSPCA received 14 reports of ear cropping and cropped ears from across England and Wales. But in 2019 that rose to 47 reports.
RSPCA inspector Dave Podmore said: "Ear cropping has been illegal in the UK since 2006 and it's not something that I've seen much of during my time working at the RSPCA.
"But in the last few months I've had a number of reports coming in from local people in Norfolk and Suffolk who have grown concerned after spotting dogs in the streets with cropped ears or after seeing puppies with bleeding, stitched up wounds on their ears."
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Cropping is the process of cutting a dog's ears in an effort to alter its appearance.
The charity believes that images shared on social media, from America and Europe, is normalising the look and marketing it as being part of celebrity culture. It also suspects breeders are sending animals abroad to have their ears cropped.
Mr Podmore added: "I want to let people know that no matter a dog's breed, this is not normal.
"Dogs aren't born this way and there are absolutely no benefits to having their ears cropped. In fact, it's a process that is extremely painful and barbaric, and can cause them health and behavioural problems throughout their lives."
RSPCA dog welfare expert, Dr Samantha Gaines, said: "We do not believe dogs should be mutilated for cosmetic purposes and we'd urge people not to buy a dog with cropped ears as - whether the process was carried out here or overseas - they still will have undergone this very painful process."
Those with information about cropping at asked to call the RSPCA's 24-hour emergency hotline on 0300 1234 999.