Sir: Tennant Brownlee asserts in today's letters column that working dogs need to be docked because their tails might suffer injury. In my long experience of veterinary practice I have observed that tails are rather less prone to injury than feet, legs or ears, so I find it difficult to assess how much of the dog should be removed in order to avoid any possible problems. However, one should never have a closed mind, and prophylactic amputation is a novel and interesting idea which should certainly be taken up by the medical profession.
Perhaps Mr Brownlee should cut off his hands, lest he should shut them in the car door next time he is out for a day's shooting. This would give him the additional benefit that he would not be able to shoot himself in the foot.