Man who cropped ears of dog to 'stop him fighting' handed ban

Andrew Dean Kirkland received a 12 month ban and a community payback order.

Airdrie man who cropped ears of American bully dog handed ban after Scottish SPCA investigation Scottish SPCA

An Airdrie man who said that he thought cropping the ears of his dog would make him less aggressive has been handed a 12 month ban on owning, keeping or working with animals.

Andrew Dean Kirkland of Waddell Avenue pled guilty on August 30 to causing unnecessary suffering through failing to provide veterinary treatment for injuries caused by illegally cropping the ears of his American bully pup, Kane.

Along with the ban, the 32-year-old was also given a community payback order of 190 hours to be completed within 18 months when he was sentenced on November 7.

A Scottish SPCA special investigations unit inspector who was involved in the case said that on April 30, 2021, inspectors found Kane, who was aged five to six months at the time, at the property with cropped ears.

The animal charity inspector said: “We immediately removed the dog due to concerns for his welfare and took him to a veterinary surgery. He was examined and it was determined the ear cropping would have taken place more than three weeks prior. Three quarters of both of the flaps on his ears had been removed and there were dimples either side of the wound consistent with the placement of suture material.

“This illegal procedure would have caused Kane considerable pain and discomfort for purely cosmetic reasons.”

Photos on Kirkland's phone showed Kane with intact ears, and when he had fresh wounds.Scottish SPCA

Kirkland had originally claimed that the dog had been imported from Bulgaria with cropped ears, but several photos on his mobile phone showed Kane both as a puppy with intact ears, and with fresh wounds from the procedure.

The inspector added: “When confronted with this evidence Kirkland said he thought ear cropping was legal and had been told it would make his dog less aggressive and stop him fighting with other dogs.

“In the UK, as ear cropping is a prohibited procedure, any operation is unlikely to be carried out with appropriate anaesthetic or pain relief. Kirkland has allowed this to be carried out to a defenceless young dog, undoubtedly causing significant unnecessary suffering, with no regard for the pain and discomfort this would ultimately cause Kane. 

“We are pleased that Kirkland has been given a ban but, given that he has shown a premeditated willingness to compromise welfare for a purely cosmetic reason, we would have liked it to be for a longer period of time.

“If anyone is concerned about the welfare of an animal they can call our confidential helpline on 03000 999 999.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code