“Along with many other animal welfare organisations and vets, RSPCA hospitals have for some time been neutering dogs at an earlier age than in the past,” David Yates, director of the RSPCA’s Greater Manchester Animal Hospital, told Shooting Times.
He added: “There is no scientific evidence behind the traditional wait until the animal’s first season, and ‘early’ neutering does the animal no harm. In fact, it can be better for the animal’s welfare: the surgery is quicker, with fewer complications, and the experience is less traumatic when it’s carried out on younger dogs.”
This admission comes after the Animal Welfare Act was implemented in 2007. During the consultation process of this Act, the RSPCA lobbied against the docking of dogs’ tails, branding the practice “unethical” and “cruel”.
According to dog behaviourist Stan Rawlinson, who first flagged up the story with Shooting Times, neutering dogs at an early age can inhibit normal behaviour patterns, such as cocking their legs and marking, and could also affect their psychological maturity.
The rest of this article appears in 24 January issue of Shooting Times.
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