Monday, October 06, 2008

No more cosmetic surgery for dogs in NB

According to the CBC, tail docking and ear cropping are cosmetic procedures that will soon no longer be performed by veterinarians in the Canadian province of New Brunswick. The New Brunswick Veterinary Medical Association (NBVMA) reached this decision recently, prompted in part by the recommendations of Canada's national body of veterinarians. According to one vet who

cringes whenever dogs come in for these procedures because she believes they are painful [:]

"Usually, when it's done, it's done between three and five days old. It's done without the benefit of anesthesia. People say it doesn't really hurt them, but they scream when you do it," she said.

So far, the only folks who seem to be complaining are the breeders and kennel clubs -- people who raise animals expected to fit into a certain aesthetically acceptable image. And they're responding with fearmongering:

Judy Burn from the Saint John area, a judge at Canadian Kennel Club competitions, said the province-wide policy is unfair to breeders, and may even put dogs at risk if owners try to do the procedures themselves.

"They may attempt it themselves and probably end up a mess on their hands that the vet will end up seeing anyway. Then you get breeders, or someone that knows someone that can do it, and infections set in. To me, the dog ends up suffering," Burns said.

It seems to me that if the vets in the province have deemed these procedures cruel and unnecessary that people attempting to submit the dogs in the care to them through other means should be punished under current animal cruelty legislation. I decided to send an email to the NB SPCA to inquire about this -- to ask whether current legislation would prohibit breeders from doing this themselves, and if not, what could be done to alter current animal cruelty legislation so that breeders could be prohibited from mutilating their dogs themselves (or have them mutilated by others). I encourage interested readers to do the same. The NB SPCA's contact form is available here. I'll post an update with any response I received from them as soon as I do.

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