Illinois Hears Bill on Tail Docking, Ear Cropping

The bill considers the procedures "animal torture” unless for medical purposes.

Doberman side profile earsThe Illinois Senate Agriculture & Conservation Committee held a hearing on Tuesday, March 10, concerning SB 139, which limits the practices of tail docking and ear cropping in the state.

Results of the hearing were not available at press time.

The bill amends the Humane Care for Animals Act and considers ear cropping and tail docking “animal torture” unless the procedures are performed by an Illinois licensed veterinarian for a medical reason.

Torture, as defined in the bill, means the infliction of or subjection to extreme physical pain, motivated by the intent to increase or prolong the pain, suffering, or agony of the animal.

A person convicted of violation would be guilty of a Class 3 felony.

The American Kennel Club posted a news alert Tuesday encouraging dog owners and breeders to contact their state legislators to oppose the measure.

The AKC said it “recognizes that ear cropping, tail docking, and dewclaw removal, as described in certain breed standards, are acceptable practices integral to defining and preserving breed character and/or enhancing good health. Appropriate veterinary care should be provided.”

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