News Petition Calls For Halt To Celebrity Cult Of Ear Cropping



Petition calls for halt to ‘celebrity cult’ of ear cropping
1st October 2020

By Justine Thompson

The RSPCA has backed a petition by a dog trainer and welfare campaigner calling for a ban on the importation of dogs with cropped ears.

It is illegal in England and Wales to crop a dog’s ears. However, the practice is still legal in other parts of the world, such as the USA and some European countries, and there’s a fear that more and more dogs are being sent abroad for cropping as well as being purchased and imported from overseas.

In fact the RSPCA has seen a 236% increase in the number of reports of ear cropping and cropped ears during the past five years. From 2015 to 2019, the charity has had 178 reports of the practice.

Staff who investigate complaints of the illegal practice fear that celebrity culture such as images shared on social media – especially from abroad where the practice is unregulated – and an increase in bull breeds seen in advertising, is normalising the look and making it more popular.

Now, the UK’s leading animal welfare charity is supporting dog trainer and passionate advocate of positive, reward-based training methods, Jordan Shelley, who has launched a petition calling on the Government to ban the importation of dogs with cropped ears. More than 8,000 people have already signed it.

Jordan said: “There appears to be an alarming rise in dogs imported after undergoing the inhumane procedure of having their ears mutilated, fulfilling the desire for a certain ‘look’ and encouraging a procedure outlawed in England since 1899. It’s time to close this 121-year-old legal loophole.

“It’s time to make imports illegal, raise awareness of the cruelty around cropped dogs and advise the public not to support those that use cropped dogs in advertising and on social media, as they’re inadvertently promoting this painful practice.”

Ear cropping is illegal under Section 5 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. RSPCA dog welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines said: “Ear cropping is a painful and unnecessary practice in which a dogs’ ears are removed or surgically altered. It does not benefit the dog in any way and can actually be detrimental to their health, behaviour and welfare.”

Anyone who is concerned that someone might be cropping dogs’ ears themselves, arranging for dogs’ ears to be cropped in the UK or sending their dogs abroad to have the procedure done should report it to the RSPCA.

Jordan’s petition can be found at