There is no other word than shocking for the undercover documentary on the illegal trade in ear cropped dogs that aired this week. We can’t thank the BBC Wales Investigates team enough for highlighting this cruel practice and those who perpetuate it. This is why we supported the incredible #FlopNotCrop campaign and we look forward to seeing new legislation to ban the importation of ear cropped dogs. But as always, enforcement will be key and it’s vital Local Authorities and border agencies are properly resourced.

Here in South Wales we are seeing a huge rise in the number of ear-cropped dogs. Some of these would have been imported legally - a loophole that needs closing. Some may also be rescue dogs - as with any trend it is inevitable we will see ear-cropped dogs in our rescue centres across the UK.

It is likely that many have been cropped right here in the UK or illegally sent abroad to be cropped. Ear cropping is illegal in the UK under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. The RSPCA has reported a staggering 621% increase in reports of ear cropping from 2015 to 2020. What should you do if you suspect illegal ear-cropping practices?

You can report incidents of people carrying out ear cropping or arranging for dogs to be cropped abroad by calling the RSPCA at 0300 1234 999 (in England and Wales), the Scottish SPCA at 0300 0999 999 (in Scotland), and your local council Animal Welfare Officer (in Northern Ireland).

You can also report it to your Local Authority animal health function. This may be either Trading Standards or Environmental Health Services. Quite often ear-cropping offences will be linked to illegal and poor breeding practices so it is definitely worth reporting to your Local Authority - social media is awash with American Bully breeders in particular with ear-cropped dogs and puppies. Very few of these will be registered breeders.

If you missed the BBC Wales Investigates shocking documentary on the illegal trade in mutilated dogs, then you can catch up on iPlayer here.