N.S veterinarians ban tail docking
Last Updated: Thursday, March 25, 2010 | 1:11 PM AT
Veterinarians in Nova Scotia will no longer cut the tails and ears of dogs for cosmetic reasons, prompting an outcry from some breeders.
Tail docking is popular for certain breeds like Doberman pinschers. (CBC)The Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association is forbidding its members from doing surgeries that alter an animal's appearance solely for cosmetic purposes.
Veterinarians say docking a Doberman pinscher's tail, for example, is unnecessary and cruel.
"In my opinion, Dobermans and Great Danes look great with their ears down and their long tails, so there's no reason to mutilate them by causing them to meet an arbitrary breed characteristic that has been around for so long that we can't remember why it's been around in the first place," said Dr. Frank Woodbury, a veterinarian in Halifax.
Mary Spinelli, a Doberman breeder in Dartmouth, disputes any suggestion that ear cropping and tail docking is cruel, and therefore can't see any need for the new rules.
"There was no impetus from anybody in the dog community to say, 'Please, consider this procedure,'" she said.
"These procedures have been performed for the better part of 100 years. They're not new, they're not revolutionary and, by and large, they're not cruel. They're done in proper conditions."
Spinelli said a Doberman's tail is removed when the animal is about two days old, while the ears are cropped at eight weeks.
She finds it hypocritical that the veterinary association is still allowing the declawing of cats.
"They have no qualms whatsoever about declawing cats, which is a far more invasive procedure done when the cat is significantly older," she said.
The new rules go into effect on April 1, though they won't be enforced until October. Similar bans on cosmetic surgeries are already in place in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.
Spinelli, a registered breeder with the Canadian Kennel Club, won't crop the tails of her dogs herself. She said the procedure should only be done under safe and clean conditions, like with veterinarians.
Another Doberman owner, Lendra Barker, fears that some owners will do whatever it takes to get their dogs to conform to a certain look.
"The people who own these dogs want them performed and without a vet to be permitted to perform these procedures, where is it going to go? Some people that aren't reputable may end up doing it themselves without the benefit of anesthesia or sanitary conditions," said Barker, a past-president of the Doberman Pinscher Club of Canada.
Non-veterinarians who attempt the surgeries on their own could be charged under Nova Scotia's Animal Protection Act.
Latest Nova Scotia News Headlines
- ECBC boss investigated for 'gross mismanagement'
- The CEO of ECBC is being investigated for 'gross mismanagement' for allegedly hiring along partisan lines. more »
- Digby man gets $248K after police assault
- The federal government has settled a lawsuit involving a police assault 10 years ago against a young African Nova Scotian man in Digby. more »
- 3 attempted murder charges for Timberlea man
- A Timberlea man was charged with three counts of attempted murder Monday. more »
- Armed robber hits Fall River bank
- An armed man robbed a bank in Fall River, N.S., Monday. more »
Top News Headlines
- Quebec premier says Montreal mayor should resign
- Quebec Premier Pauline Marois says Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum should step down following his arrest this morning. more »
- Canadians jailed after Dominican post-wedding fight released
- Two Canadian men imprisoned in the Dominican Republic following a post-wedding brawl last month have been released and will be returning to Canada, a family member says. more »
- Northern Gateway in Canadians' interest, Enbridge tells review board
- Canada will be vulnerable to economic disaster should the Northern Gateway pipeline be rejected, the proponent told a federal review panel Monday as the final phase of public hearings got underway. more »
- MPs weigh in on Justin Trudeau charging speaking fees
- The New Brunswick charity that asked Liberal leader Justin Trudeau to return a speaking fee eight months after he appeared at a fundraiser has sparked a debate among MPs about the propriety of accepting money for what some say MPs should do for free. more »
- Body found after Dal student goes missing
- Zinck wants to stay MLA despite guilty pleas
- Top QMJHL pick snubs Cape Breton because of schooling
- Man, 19, charged with child luring, accessing child porn
- Businessman accused of exploiting foreign employees
- Hire more foot doctors to nix wait times, pleads surgeon
- Attempted murder charges in Timberlea shooting
- Lobster prices lowest in a generation, say fishermen
- Halifax pair realizes bacon restaurant dream