Cutting puppy's tails off was done routinely for hundreds of years - I think it was some time in the 1990's the practice was starting to be frowned on and eventually (almost) stopped.
When it was socially acceptable vets did it mostly without anaesthetic - just CHOP, it was done on almost every terrier, rotweiller (sp??), doberman, pointer... nope, too time consuming to list them all! It was done by millions of very ordinary people, boringly so.
I wish the world was a fair place, I wish there was some point questioning what a puppy did to deserve X, Y or Z but I think realsitically nature, and people, are both exceptionally kind and exceptionally cruel at times.