Monmouthshire County Council is to lend its support to a campaign against canine cruelty.

The campaign calls for a ban on the import of dogs with cropped ears and is led by the British Veterinary Association (BVA).

Monmouthshire’s animal health officers are calling for members of the public to report incidents of people carrying out ear cropping or arranging for dogs’ ears to be cropped abroad by calling Crime Stoppers on 0800 555111.

Ear cropping is a surgical procedure to remove the floppy part of a dog’s ear, often without anaesthesia or pain relief, and is carried out purely for cosmetic reasons to promote an image of ferocity.

Far from offering any benefit to the dogs involved, in fact it severely compromises their welfare.

The procedure itself is painful, as it cuts through cartilage and can take weeks to heal, inflicting pain every time the bandages are changed. The dog also risks catching an infection during the process.

Ear cropping is illegal in the UK but dogs with cropped ears are imported from countries where the procedure is still legal. It’s also believed that dogs bred in the UK are deliberately taken overseas for the procedure.

The RSPCA has reported a massive 236 per cent increase in the number of reports of ear cropping they’ve received in the last five years.

This rise in numbers may be fuelled by the increase in celebrities and social media influencers displaying their cropped dogs on platforms like Instagram, leading to the glamorisation and normalisation of this barbaric practice.

Vets can also report the practice to their local authorities.

Under the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ Code of Conduct they can break their client confidentiality and disclose information to the authorities where it is deemed necessary - including where ‘animal welfare or the public interest is compromised…or where the information is likely to help in the prevention, detection or prosecution of a crime’.

Monmouthshire’s cabinet member with responsibility for community safety, Councillor Sara Jones said: “Ear-cropping of dogs is an appalling crime carried out for wholly unnecessary reasons.

’’I urge residents who believe a dog is likely to be at risk to contact Crime Stoppers or seek advice from Monmouthshire’s animal health team. Let’s make this awful practice a thing of the past - where it belongs.”