Beyond 50 illegal amputations of ears and tail of cane corso, pittbull and dogo argentino, performed between 2017 and 2019, e puppies under three months of age exported and imported from the United States without rabies vaccination. These are some of the circumstances that emerged in the two-year investigation called “cruel devil”Directed by the Procura of Ancona and carried out by the Forestry Carabinieri of the Cites nucleus which led to the complaint from 29 breeders residing in nine Italian regions and 11 veterinarians, accused in various ways for mistreatment, forgery in a public document, illicit trafficking in pets, abusive exercise of the veterinary profession, use of a false document.
From the investigations conducted it emerged in particular that 16 dog breeders and 4 veterinarians residing in the Provinces of Ancona, Macerata and Cosenza were involved in illegal amputations: some interventions were justified with fake veterinary certificates, handwritten by the same veterinarians and attributed to veterinarians residing abroad, unaware of the results of the interventions performed or nonexistent. In addition, false veterinary stamps and blank veterinary certificates were seized from 4 breeders of Corsican and pittbull dogs, residing in the provinces of Ancona and Bari, ready to be filled in and given to the buyers of the dogs accompanying the amputations. Beyond 40 of the disputed amputations, have been attributed to a veterinary with an outpatient clinic in the Province of Macerata. According to the European Convention for the protection of companion animals concluded in Strasbourg on November 13, 1987, ratified and enforced in Italy with law November 4, 2010 n. 201, in fact, the amputation of the ears and tail of dogs performed for aesthetic purposes only is prohibited.
Seventeen of the 29 breeders, e 7 veterinarians were sued for producing 77 fake certificates, including 20 veterinary certificates for dog amputations and 57 health books, passports and certificates for the transit of pets with the aim of being able to illegally export and import puppies under the age allowed by the laws of the destination countries. In particular, 34 exports abroad were discovered, mainly to the United States of purebred puppies, Corsican dogs and Neapolitan mastiffs, without, among other things, vaccination against rabies. The puppies had in fact a false documentation attesting the vaccination and a date of birth different from the actual one.
Furthermore, two of the veterinarians denounced were accused, in competition with two breeders, for abusive exercise of the profession: professionals have in fact provided breeders with vaccines and microchips to be carried out independently on dogs.
Conchectomization interventions (ear amputations) for aesthetic reasons only, were performed to earn the earnings obtained from veterinary amputations, equal to about 200 euros per specimen, but also to make dogs more “attractive” to foreign buyers, in countries in the such as cropping of ears and tail is not allowed. Reported breeders and veterinarians face 18 months of imprisonment for animal trafficking and mistreatment and up to three years for abusive practice.