The National Assembly is now considering it.
A petition to ban non-preventive and non-therapeutic surgeries on animals in Quebec got 21,652 signatures.
Signatories called on the National Assembly to end practices such as declawing, ear and tail cropping, and devocalization — procedures that cause animals pain and prevent them "from expressing [...] biological and psychological imperatives," according to the petition.
"There is a wealth of scientific evidence that demonstrates that these non-therapeutic procedures are harmful, painful and unnecessary for animals, with long-term negative consequences," it reads, citing positions by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), the Association des médecins vétérinaires du Québec, the Association des techniciens en santé animale du Québec and the Association des étudiants en médecine vétérinaire du Québec.
The CVMA calls non-therapeutic declawing, or partial digital amputation (PDA), "ethically unacceptable." It says the procedure, which involves the partial amputation of felines' digits, can lead to short-term acute pain and long-term chronic pain, as well as negative behavioural changes.
The association is also against cosmetic surgeries such as ear and tail cropping.
The Montreal SPCA encouraged residents to support the National Assembly petition. It said "most other" provinces in Canada have already outlawed declawing, cropping and devocalization.
Declawing, specifically, is subject to bans in Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, Alberta and New Brunswick, according to the organization. Several European countries have also prohibited the practice.
The SPCA likens declawing cats to removing humans' last knuckle.
Montreal animal health technician Alexandra Yaksich is the author of the petition. She told MTL Blog that she worked without a budget to gather the nearly 22,000 signatures within a 90-day window. She hopes it can be an example of collective action.
"As an animal health technician and a Montrealer, I want to show our city we can really do amazing things when we come together."