More than half of all eligible Senedd (the Welsh Parliament) Members have already signed a Statement of Opinion calling for more action in Wales against the illegal ear cropping of dogs.

As shocking new figures show, calls received by the RSPCA about the mutilation have reached record levels. In 2021, RSPCA investigators received 188 reports related to illegal ear cropping across England and Wales, an 86% increase on the 101 reports to the charity in 2020.

Since 2015, when record keeping began, reports to the RSPCA have soared by a staggering 1,243%, - there were only 14 reports received by the charity in 2015.

RSPCA Cymru fears an increase in reports about ear cropped dogs could be driven by social media trends, with some with some celebrities having posted photographs online of pets with cropped ears.

The new data follows the airing of a BBC Wales documentary, which suggested that unscrupulous traders are routinely offering puppies with cropped ears for sale in Wales. It was feared sellers are exploiting existing loopholes in legislation by stating that puppies having their ears cropped domestically had been imported into the UK from countries where the practice is still legal.  

The problem is set to be tackled in part, as the UK Government's Kept Animals Bill continues its legislative journey, with the Senedd set to vote on giving the law consent to apply to Wales. Once in force, the law is set to empower Welsh Ministers to ban the importation of mutilated dogs into Wales.

At Hope Rescue we have joined forces with our friends at RSPCA Cymru, sending a joint letter to the Welsh Government, offering our support for a targeted human behaviour change campaign. This campaign will remind the public about the laws on ear cropping, and how damaging this mutilation can be for the welfare of dogs.