I was astonished to read the article in the usually animal-friendly ELF Magazine (March 11) advocating the cruel practices of tail docking and ear cropping for dogs (March 11) by ELF editor Justine Murphy. There is no information provided regarding Ms. Murphy’s credentials to make the claims stated in the article, however, judging by the content I would guess that she is associated with the American Kennel Club, an organization that is notorious for promoting elite breeding practices regardless of the suffering of the animal.

Ear cropping and tail docking are often performed without anesthesia, by unqualified individuals. Ear cropping is especially traumatic as it requires many painful weeks of taping the surgically destroyed ear and may never properly heal. Tail docking kits are available to the general public through such sources as Amazon and eBay. Comparing these procedures to spaying and neutering, which is done primarily to prevent unwanted litters of puppies, is a pile of dog poop!

These dangerous surgical practices are opposed by every major animal welfare organization including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Humane Society of the United States, the American Humane Association, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association and many, many more.

In 2020, N.H. Rep. Katherine Rogers, D-Concord, and five co-sponsors introduced House Bill 1683 to prohibit ear cropping and tail docking in dogs except in cases of medical necessity. Unfortunately this bill was referred to the Environment and Agriculture Committee which voted unanimously to oppose it, citing testimony from breeders that these barbaric procedures are medically necessary. In reality this committee has opposed every significant attempt at animal welfare reform over the past 25 years, under both Democratic and Republican leadership, bowing to the demands of breeders, the American Kennel Club and the state veterinarian, who is not a friend of animals.

Hopefully this bill will be reintroduced in the near future. In the meantime, dearest ELF editors, please, no more articles advocating animal cruelty!