Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Response from the NBSPCA

I just received a response from Glen McGuire, Executive Director of the NBSPCA, concerning the New Brunswick Veterinary Medical Association (NBVMA)'s members' recent decision to ban their performing of ear cropping, tail docking and dew claw removals on dogs in New Brunswick. I'd written out of concern over responses to this decision from people who make a living off of the breeding of purebreds, and who've seemed to be asserting that breeders and show dog owners will likely resort to going out of province or to getting someone else to butcher his or her way through the procedures and then see the vets (legitimately) to heal the damage that's been done. I asked him what the NBSPCA's response would be to someone's docking or cropping dogs' tails or ears -- what the legal repercussions would be.

Note: By CC of C Section 446, Mr. McGuire means the Criminal Code of Canada, Section 446 concerning cruelty to animals.

He wrote:

Hi M,

Thank you for your letter re: Our position on the NBVMA resolution adopted last week. As you can imagine, we are never in agreement with any unnecessary pain and suffering inflicted upon animals. Many of the veterinarians in the Province have refused to do this type of cosmetic alteration as a matter of principle. With the adoption of last week's resolution, it will now be a prohibited procedure.

This then goes to your question as to what we would do in the event that people decide to perform surgical alterations without the benefit of a veterinarian. According to our Chief Inspector, we would have to charge people under CC of C Section 446. Causing undue pain and suffering. To do this we would need witnesses and confirmation that this had been done. We would also need to have the Crown seize and prosecute the case.

We will of course be raising this issue in our ongoing talks with the Government with the view, if necessary to adding or amending regulations to address this potential problem. Thank you for your concern.


Glen McGuire

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