At the ABVMA Annual General Meeting, held February 24th 2019, ABVMA members voted in favour of banning several surgeries they have deemed ‘cosmetic’, including cropping and docking. These policies came into play July 1st 2019.
Forelimb Dewclaw Amputation
Feline Partial Digital Amputation
This vote does not outlaw the above procedures, but it does prevent licensed veterinarians in the province of Alberta from performing these procedures.
The ABVMA has provided the CKC with an Interpretation Document, to further clarify these policies which ban Alberta registered veterinarians from performing any elective and/or non-therapeutic medical/surgical procedures, and the mandatory reporting of animal abuse and neglect.
An example provided in the document:
Individual puppy presented at a veterinary practice for examination and vaccination. The tail has been docked and is completely healed.
- With the tail completely healed it is possible and likely that the puppy is not in distress. If the puppy is not in distress, then no action is required to relieve the distress.
- It is however, possible that the puppy was in distress when the procedure was performed. If the veterinary professional has knowledge about the puppy having been in distress as a result of the surgery being performed, the veterinary professional may report that to a peace officer, who may investigate the puppy having been in distress and if appropriate, a lay person practicing veterinary medicine.
- This is an important learning moment because the owner may not even be aware that the tail has been surgically altered.
Where else are the procedures banned?
Alberta joins British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Quebec in banning VMA members from performing tail docking & ear cropping.
Saskatchewan and Manitoba have VMA member bans on ear cropping only.
PEI and Newfoundland have provincial legislation against tail docking, ear cropping, and most cosmetic surgeries.