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Cruel dog breeder facing court after mutilating vocal cords of puppies 

PAGE 18 CRUEL

A dog breeder faces a hefty fine and life-time ban from keeping animals after performing illegal operations on cute Bichon Frize puppies to remove their bark.

Police in Spain say the man deliberately mutilated the vocal cords of the fluffy white dogs himself before adverti-sing them for sale on the internet.

The practice is strictly banned under animal protection laws, together with docking tails which was recently vetoed by the Spanish Government and also removing the claws of cats.

A spokesman for Barcelona’s Los Mossos police confirmed the man had been arrested and reported for prosecution following a raid on his premises in the Lliçà d’Amunt region.

“He has been reported for being an illegal breeder of dogs who mutilated the vocal cords of several animals so that they do not bark,” he said. “We believe he carried out the operations at home without any authorisation or sanitary control.”

Officers found several dogs at his kennels, all of the Bichon Frize breed. These small white dogs are so cute they have been likened to children’s toys. Because of their looks, they are much-sought after and can fetch more than 1,000 pounds a time.

However, they are also known to be difficult to train and can bark a lot.

The investigation was carried out by the environmental unit of the Mossos d’Esquadra and the case is now awaiting judicial decisions.

The arrest came just a few days after Spain’s Congress ruling over the amputation of the tail of dogs for aesthetic reasons.

Animal campaigners have welcomed the decision though says compliance comes after 30 years of campaigning.

Seven areas of Spain had already banned the practice and this will now extend to the rest of the country. Amputation of the ears, nails, teeth or vocal cords are also included in the text.

A spokesman for the animal protection party PACMA said they had always maintained tail docking was cruel.

“We are glad to have achieved this important success for animals,” she said.