MP ANNE Snelgrove is celebrating after ministers agreed to ban docking the tails of dogs.

The South Swindon MP has spent the last week intensively lobbying the Government to include the ban in its Animal Welfare Bill. She claims the practice of amputating the tails of puppies is cruel and serves no useful purpose.

Last year, animal welfare minister Ben Bradshaw insisted the Government would not intervene, stating "sincere views were held for and against". But he has now performed a dramatic U-turn and agreed to an amendment tabled by Mrs Snelgrove, which would introduce a ban.

The decision has sparked uproar among countryside groups and dog breeders who insist docking is needed to prevent injury to working gun dogs.

Docking is usually carried out without anaesthetic when puppies are between three and five days old. The British Veterinary Association says 90 per cent of vets are against what it calls a painful procedure which should only be carried out for medical reasons.

Mrs Snelgrove said: "I am very pleased to win this victory against animal suffering.

"I believe the will of the House and the vast majority of the public is against tail docking for cosmetic purposes."

Announcing the U-turn at a standing committee in Parliament, Mr Bradshaw said: "Going by the balance of opinion in the committee we would bring forward a statutory instrument which would implement a full ban on the tail docking of dogs."

The ban will affect 58 traditionally docked breeds, including the Queen's Pembroke Welsh corgis.