Quebec Will Officially Ban Declawing, Ear Cropping & Other Aesthetic Surgeries For Pets

The new rules will take effect in 18 months.

Staff Writer
Cat on a Montreal sidewalk.

Cat on a Montreal sidewalk.

Arguments about declawing, ear cropping, and tail docking abound on the internet, with strong opinions on either side. As of yesterday, the Quebec government has formally taken a side: firmly against these aesthetic surgeries and more.

Many non-therapeutic aesthetic surgeries on animals will be officially banned in Quebec in 18 months. Procedures like cat declawing and cropping dogs' tails and ears will no longer be legal in the province. Also banned is devocalization or the process of surgically limiting a dog or cat's ability to make sounds.

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The new legislation comes after a public petition was posted to ban these non-therapeutic procedures, which received over 20,000 signatures. The surgeries targeted in the petition and the legislation have been denounced by major veterinary organizations, including the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, which "strongly opposes" the practice of declawing cats especially.

The recent regulation is "a major step forward," according to André Lamontagne, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. "With the new measures in place, including a ban on cosmetic surgery and improved conditions for the care of pets and equines, better supervision of animals will be possible, regardless of where they are kept. We are acting proactively to promote their well-being," he stated in a press release.

Horses and other equine animals are included in the new protections as well. A permit will now be required to house horses, and owners will need to comply with the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Equine Animals, published by the National Farm Animal Care Council.

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