Increase in Illegal Ear Cropping Due to Social Media 'Trend'
According to recent research published by the BBC, networks of breeders across the U.K. are offering to mutilate puppies due to an increase in the 'style' driven by social media trends.
The procedure is illegal in the U.K. under the Animal Welfare Act, however breeders are creating fraudulent pet passports to imply it was done abroad.
During the BBC's investigation, one breeder offered to sell a BBC Wales undercover journalist an American Bulldog puppy for £13,000 and cropping the dog's ears to create the increasingly desired 'pointy' look.
Ear cropping, despite arguments to the contrary, has zero health benefits for the dog and has in fact been linked to behavioural issues, infection and long-term health complications such as hearing loss. What's more, as the practice is illegal in the U.K., these procedures are taking place by untrained individuals who often offer no pain relief or aftercare. The result? An excruciating, traumatising experience for the dog with an even higher risk of infection than if performed in countries where it is legal.
The UK government has proposed the 'Kept Animals Bill' which would restrict the importation of dogs with cropped ears and puppies under six months old, however this would not solve the issue of fraudulent passports.
Due to the lockdown 'puppy boom', there's been an increase in breeders using their dogs as money making machines rather than creating environments which harbour happy, healthy dogs.
Always consider rescuing your next dog, and if you do decide to buy from a breeder ensure that you do your due diligence; ask for papers, see both of the dog's parents, visit the breeders home and never put down a deposit.