UK man jailed for dog ear cropping offence

dog ear cropping
(Image credit: RSPCA)

A dog owner in Birmingham, UK, has been given a 16-week jail sentence for having the ears of his three dogs illegally cropped.

Warren Wesley Jackman, 40, owned American Bully XL Mika and her two three-month-old puppies Zushi and Zino. In August 2021, police attended his apartment on an unrelated matter and were so concerned about his dogs’ welfare that they notified UK animal welfare charity the RSPCA.  

According to RSPCA inspector Vicki Taylor the police were concerned that all the dogs had had their ears cropped, a cruel procedure which has been banned in the UK since 2006. 

The injuries were recent and the wounds still had stitches in them. The male puppy’s ears were sore and swollen. Jackman admitted that he had paid a third party £200 (around $240) to have the operation carried out.

Although veterinarians occasionally carry out the procedure for medical reasons such as cancer of the ear, it’s illegal in the UK for it to be done for aesthetic purposes and is also banned in the EU. 

While it’s technically legal in Russia and the United States, the vast majority of veterinarians are against ear cropping for cosmetic reasons.

UK TV show This Morning’s resident veterinarian Dr. Scott Miller commented that ear cropping is a very disappointing and barbaric procedure which is unfortunately on the rise in the UK. Dr. Miller has worked extensively with the RSPCA as well as in private practice. 

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“We’re a nation of animal lovers,” he said on the program. “I just don’t know how these things keep happening.”

Dr. Scott believes the rise of the cruel practice is due to glamorizing on social media, where people see photos of dogs with cropped ears. 

The breeds most at risk are ‘bull breeds’ such as Dobermans and Bull Terriers who are naturally born with floppy ears. Owners will have the ears cropped when the pup is between six and 12 weeks old so that the remnant stands up in a point and gives the dog a fiercer, more aggressive expression.

As it’s illegal, the procedure is often carried out with no anesthetic or sterile equipment and causes pain for several weeks afterwards.

Jackman pleaded guilty to two offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and was sentenced to serve 16 weeks in jail. 

He also received a lifetime ban from keeping animals of any kind. His dogs have been seized by the RSPCA and will be re-homed in due course.  

Sara is a freelance journalist and copywriter of many years’ experience with a lifelong love of animals. She’s written for a range of magazines and websites on subjects varying from pet care to travel. A horse rider since the age of five, she’s currently a full time pet slave to horse Blue and gorgeous, goofy English Springer Spaniel Olly. Adorable Olly has a huge sense of adventure and no sense of direction, keeping Sara on her toes.