A man has been disqualified from keeping all animals for two years after it was discovered he allowed his dog’s ears to be chopped off. Ramadan Murtati, 20, ignored warnings from the RSPCA that cropping dogs ‘ ears is an illegal and painful procedure done purely for cosmetic reasons – but he decided to go ahead with it anyway.
Murtati, of Walthamstow, appeared in Leicester Magistrates Court on October 19 after failing to prevent the ears of a 15-week-old XL bulldog from being hacked by another person. The court heard that Murtati had previously asked vets and the RSPCA where he could go to get the dog’s ears cropped, and they advised him against it.
It came to light that the defendant still had the puppy’s ears chopped off when he attended the vets for an unrelated appointment.
RSPCA inspector Herchy Boal said: “I could see instantly that the puppy’s ears had been recently cropped, they appeared sore and red, but were not actively bleeding.
“The puppy was called Bully and was around 15 weeks old. He was friendly and on taking a closer look I could see that his ears were starting to heal and granulate, but were still sore.
“Both ears flaps had been cut, with exposure of the cartilage surfaces.”
The police took the dog into their possession and placed him in the care of the RSPCA, where he was rehomed with a loving family “who completely adore him”.
The expert vet who examined Bully said: “In my professional opinion the patient was subjected unnecessarily to a procedure, that regardless of the medical care provided, always implicated discomfort and potential pain during and after the procedure.”
Inspector Boal added: “Bully was also quite old to have had his ears cropped which again would have been more painful for him and he could have further health issues from this in years to come.”
Murtati was fined £120 and ordered to pay costs of £150 and also a £34 victim surcharge.
In mitigation the defendant said that ear cropping was legal in his home country.
Is ear cropping illegal?
Ear cropping is illegal in England and Wales, under Section 5 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
It is against the law to carry out this procedure yourself or to send your dog to a vet in this country or abroad to have their ears cropped.
In some medical situations, vets may perform a procedure called a pinnectomy that can look like the ears have been cropped.
This is only done in the care of disease in the ears, and is usually required in white cats who can sometimes get skin cancer.
Why shouldn’t dogs have their ears cropped?
Dogs need their ears for a number of reasons. Their ears help them to communicate with us and other animals, so we understand how they’re feeling.
Their ear carriage can help indicate if a dog is worried or happy and relaxed. If a dog’s ears have been removed, it can be more difficult to read their body language.
It is not yet known whether ear cropping affects hearing, but it’s certainly possibly as the outer ear is shaped to capture sound waves and funnel them into the ear canal towards the eardrum.