Quebec to ban animal procedures like declawing and tail docking

The Government of Canada Province of Quebec has taken another step forward in its efforts to ban many procedures for animals deemed non-essential, such as declawing, tail docking, devocalization and ear cropping, often performed on pets like cats and dogs.

While vets can step in and make exceptions if the doctor deems the procedure medically necessary, the provincial government is drafting legislation to try to ban these types of procedures by summer, lawmakers hope, the Radio-Canada reported.

Canadian Agriculture Minister André Lamontagne said Quebec’s Animal Welfare and Safety Act is still being drafted following consultations on the legislation last December.

Quebec’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food said current laws had “no specific regulations” on these often non-essential procedures, but insisted on formally recommending against performing them.

“A new draft regulation including welfare standards for companion animals, including cats and dogs, is being developed,” the agency said. In a press release, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of Quebec also indicated that “the latest scientific advances” would be taken into account when proposing guidelines.

Alexandra Yaksich, a Montreal-based animal health technician, started a petition that sparked lawmakers’ interest in proposing the animal welfare legislation, according to the CBC.

“I know it’s something that seems small to a lot of people, but it really isn’t,” she said.

“It’s not just removing the claw, it’s amputating the fingertip,” Yaksich said. “It has all kinds of effects.”

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