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The petition was created by Director at the FOAL (Focus On Animal Law) group and dog behaviourist Jordan Shelley, in collaboration with numerous other organisations including The British Veterinary Association and has amassed more than 10,000 in less than 24 hours on Friday afternoon.
The 30-year-old told Tyla that after seeing a huge rise in cropped dogs in his behaviour classes he felt compelled to make a change.
"I started to see that rise in central London around five years ago and then I moved down to New Forest in Southampton and then I saw a similar rise - and we're in the middle of nowhere, so it was really surprising.
"I then spoke to colleagues who saw the same thing and then I saw it on social media where companies were using cropped dogs on their accounts. In the last few months I've seen an even bigger rise. For the last six months all I've been doing is living and breathing ear cropping."
Ear cropping is illegal in England and Wales, under Section 5 of the Animal Welfare Act (2006).
According to the RSPCA, ear cropping is "a painful and completely unnecessary process where a dog's ear is cut or removed", which "can cause life-long health and behaviour problems".
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, or being purchased and imported from overseas.
New figures released by the RSPCA this month show a 621 per cent increase in the number of reports of ear cropping and cropped ears raised with the animal welfare charity in the last six years.
From 2015 to 2020, the RSPCA received a total of 279 reports of the practice made to their emergency hotline.
Jordan said: "The RSPCA figures are shocking but they only represent the dogs that have been reported. If you look on Instagram there are so many more cropped dogs, it's endemic."
Jordan explains that the popularity of cropped dogs is particularly bad on social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok where influencers and celebrities flaunt their pets.
In recent weeks, influencers and celebrities including Jack Fincham from Love Island and Jordan Banjo from Diversity have been called out for buying dogs with cropped ears. "They have a voice and if they turn around and talk out about it would make a huge difference," Jordan explains.
RSPCA dog welfare expert, Dr Samantha Gaines, said: "Ear cropping is a barbaric practice that is illegal in England & Wales. But, worryingly, we're seeing an upturn in the number of reports being made to our cruelty line about dogs with cropped ears and we're extremely concerned that this trend is becoming increasingly normalised, glamorised and popular.
"We fear that images being shared on social media and used within advertising as well as high-profile sports stars and celebrities buying dogs with cropped ears is making the look more popular and maybe influencing others to do the same."
Jordan says many dogs have their ears cropped from a young age by protection dog firms and companies that train security dogs and "mutilate" their ears to make them look more aggressive. It has a lasting effect on their behaviour and the way they communicate with other dogs.
"It happens to a dog when they are really impressionable and when they are learning about the world around them, Jordan explains.
"And to have that pain when the ear flap is removed and their ears are pinned and bandaged, it has a huge impact on the dog. It Impacts the way the dog communicates because ear position is hugely important.
"When they can't move their ears other dogs think they are always angry because their ears are in a permanent upright position and they often end up getting into more fights."
The government responds to all petitions that receive more than 10,000 signatures and Parliament considers all petitions that get more than 100,00 signatures for debate.
Jordan said: "What an incredible launch to hit 10,000 signatures in 24 hours! I hope the petition has a strong response from the government. I know they are listening to this call to action and I really hope it won't be long until something is done about it."
You can sign the petition here.
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