Cosmetic surgery for pets, including tail docking, declawing, is now prohibited in Quebec

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A cat is shown at a pet store in Montreal on August 8, 2019. New rules to bank cosmetic procedures for pets will come into effect from 10 February 2024.Graham Hughes / The Canadian Press

Quebec is banning cosmetic surgeries on pets including tail docking, devocalization, ear cropping, and declawing “unless recommended by a veterinary surgeon for therapeutic reasons.”

The new regulation It went into effect Saturday and aims to “establish standards for the protection and care of domestic companion animals and horses to ensure their welfare and safety.” This applies to horses, cats, dogs, and other types of companion animals such as rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, and pigs.

“I think it’s great news,” said Dr. Caroline Kildonk, a biologist and past president of the Order of Veterinary Physicians of Quebec. “Surgeries that are not medically necessary should be avoided as much as possible.”

In addition to banning cosmetic surgeries, the new rules limit the number of cats or dogs kept in new breeding facilities to 50, establish minimum standards for the exercise of leashed dogs, And death by inhalation has been banned, among other measures.

Quebec Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Minister AndrĂ© Lamontagne said the new rules “will greatly improve the quality of life for our pets.” News release on Friday.

Animal welfare advocates and experts, including the Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCAs) and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), have long opposed cosmetic surgery on pets.

On Its websitethe CVMA states that cosmetic changes to an animal’s body for cosmetic or competitive purposes are “medically unnecessary and ethically unacceptable” because such procedures “have the potential for chronic pain and other adverse welfare consequences.” carry the risk of unnecessary pain.”

Tail docking and ear clipping in dogs, for example, “compromise the animal’s ability to effectively communicate excitement, fear, and aggression with other animals and people.” Devocalization “does not address the root cause of unwanted barking” in dogs and can result in “serious health and welfare consequences”. CVMA says.

Declawing, or partial digital amputation, of cats is “unacceptable because it does not benefit cats” and “can have long-term negative consequences,” According to Association

Ontario SPCA and Humane Society Says on their website. that such cosmetic surgical procedures affect animal welfare and behavior “with varying degrees of intensity and duration.”

The Order of Veterinary Physicians of Quebec was adopted. Positions in 2020 and 2021 Dislikes devocalization, declawing, tail docking and ear cropping.

According to the CVMA website, veterinarians in all provinces except Ontario were banned from performing cosmetic procedures such as tail docking and ear cropping until 2020.

By 2022, eight provinces have also banned the declaration, with Ontario the only country to implement new laws in Quebec. one Anti-Declaration Bill It was introduced in Ontario in 2020 but was never made into law.

Dr. Kildonick said because Quebec’s new regulation states that cosmetic surgeries are “prohibited to be performed or performed,” that means pet owners will not be allowed to travel to Ontario from the other side of the border. He said he believes Ontario will soon move in the same direction and ban the procedure.

Ontario officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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