Prompted by another thread, I've been looking into the history of animal welfare, in particular the various Acts of Parliament on cruelty to animals over the last 200 years. 1849 - Cruelty to Animals Act bans all forms of dog fighting, bear baiting, cock fighting and bull baiting. Etiher before this or shortly afterwards, dogs are not permitted to pull carts or be used for transport purposes. 1854The above extends to include other welfare aspects. Ear Cropping of dogs was banned either in the 1849 or the 1854 Acts - I can't find out which - along with "dubbing" poultry and spur removal. As Dubbing means the removal (cropping, cutting off) of the comb and wattle of chickens, usually done for fighting birds, then the banning of all forms of fighting sport with animals logically excludes these practices of mutilation. Removal of the spurs of fighting cocks was usual, as they were then fitted with sharp steel spurs instead, designed to cause maximum injury (have personally seen this myself in Asia where cock fighting is still legal). We go on chronologically, and in 1873 The Kennel Club was formed to oversee and organise dog shows. Interestingly enough, despite ear cropping being outlawed by 1854, it was only in 1898 that the KC banned dogs with cropped ears from it shows, and that still stands today. There is not one breed of dog recognised by the KC today, which originated (or was mainly developed) within the UK, which still has its ears traditionally cropped, either here or overseas. Not to sound jingoistic, but that accounts for quite a lot of breeds worldwide. Saying that - there is ONE exception - the Manchester Terrier. Despite the ear cropping ban in its native country long before the breed was properly recognised there or in the USA, the Manchester is still allowed to have cropped ears in the United States. All the breeds which are ear cropped in other countries originated from France, Germany or Belgium and other countries where it is, or has been until recently, still legal. Interesting little vignette... and food for thought if - or when - you encounter an argument that ear cropping is "traditional" and "makes the dog look better".