Tail docking now banned in B.C.

Those who continue the practice face disciplinary action from vet college, and charges under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

Veterinarians in B.C. are now banned from tail docking and alterations of dogs, horses and cattle, following a landslide vote by the province’s regulator.

About 91 per cent of voting registrants of the College of Veterinarians of British Columbia supported the banning of cosmetic tail docking, during a vote taken between Oct. 13 and Nov. 2.

“Veterinarians in B.C. have advanced animal welfare in the province through this vote,” college president Dr. Brendan Matthews said in a news release Tuesday. “B.C. now joins the four Atlantic provinces, and Quebec, on banning these cosmetic procedures.”

Tail docking is the surgical removal of an animals tail for cosmetic purposes, and involves severing tendons, bones, and cartilage with a scalpel or cutters to remove the tail.

No scientific evidence supports a welfare or medical benefit for tail docking or alteration, unless carried out in cases of injury or for medical reasons such as removing cancerous tissues.

Evidence does show a detrimental effect on behaviour and animal communication, as well as the risk for infection and phantom pain.

The move follows another vote by the college last year to ban cosmetic ear cropping on dogs.

Some breed associations continue to resist bans because of historical practices, to which Matthews says: “Veterinarians have an ethical responsibility to the animals they treat, and tail docking goes against that responsibility. We ask other provinces to follow suit and for breed associations to recognize the changing times.”

Manitoba and Saskatchewan have banned cosmetic procedures like tail docking and ear cropping for years, whereas Alberta and Ontario practice no regulations, said Dr. Shawn Llewellyn, member of the college’s animal welfare committee.

“We’re playing a bit of catch-up,” he said.

Although a majority favoured the vote, some veterinarians worry that banning professionals from these cosmetic procedures will force “breeders to take it upon themselves,” Llewellyn said, although in other provinces this hasn’t been the case.

BC SPCA’s Dr. Emilia Gordon applauded the decision in a news release.

“We feel this is a big step forward in the humane treatment of animals in our province, and evidence that veterinarians in B.C. are very interested in animal welfare first and foremost.”

Any vets who continue these practices will face disciplinary action from the college, including revoking of their license and fines, and possible charges under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

@ashleywadhwani

ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Digital Daffodils

April is Canadian Cancer Society’s cancer awareness month

North District RCMP see massive spike in domestic calls

Connection to COVID-19 pandemic likely for reduced call volume, increased severity

City gives no response to homelessness concerns

City demands shelter close, but no response to pleas from shelter to open Jim Ciccone Civic Centre

Northwest mines lengthen crew rotations in response to COVID-19

Northern Health confident precautions sufficient enough to keep work camps open

Feds and Chamber of Commerce team up to support businesses

PRDCC is offering weekly conference calls to business in Prince Rupert

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Look at hospitalizations, not recovery stats for COVID-19, B.C. professor says

Cases in hospital are a definitive count of people who have the novel coronavirus

B.C. First Nations want to launch fight of Trans Mountain pipeline approval

Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada decided not to hear five challenges about the pipeline

N95 masks on the way for Canada after 3M reaches deal with White House

The Trump White House had ordered 3M to stop shipping masks to Canada

COLUMN: The other graph that shows B.C. can beat COVID-19

Is the curve being flattened? data on hospitalizations provides a crucial answer.

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Most Read