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Cat declawing now banned in BC

Last Updated May 8, 2018 at 3:37 pm PDT

(iStock Photo)

VANCOUVER – The College of Veterinarians of BC says the new standard was implemented Tuesday after it researched other jurisdictions and consulted with provincial vets.

It calls declawing “ethically problematic” and not an appropriate means of dealing with cat behaviour issues.

Dr. Emilia Gordon is a vet and the Senior Manager of Animal Health with the BC SPCA and says the new standard is wonderful for cats. “The BC SPCA has been long opposed procedures like declawing that basically limit an animals ability to perform normal behaviors. So this is something that we have been calling for and are really excited for.”

“It’s wonderful because it’s just the second province in Canada to ban this procedure,” Dr. Gordon says, “So, I think it’s fantastic that the CVBC took this on and listened to the science and listened to veterinarians who called for this change. It’s a wonderful, wonderful thing for cats.”

College registrar and CEO Louisa Hlos says there is a consensus among the public and profession that declawing cats is inhumane and ethically unacceptable, similar to the outdated practices of tail docking and ear cropping.

The group has the power to investigate and impose disciplinary action on veterinarians who ignore the new standard.

The college says there are a number of medical conditions that may necessitate partial or full amputations and those procedures will be allowed to continue.

It says Nova Scotia is the only other Canadian province to ban declawing, but the practice is also banned in Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Brazil, the United Kingdom, parts of Europe and some cities in California.