The B.C. College of Veterinarians (CVBC) announced Tuesday it has banned its members from performing cosmetic ear cropping procedures on dogs.
The BC SPCA is applauding the move.
“For nearly two decades the BC SPCA has been on record opposing procedures such as tail docking, ear cropping, devocalization and declawing that impact an animal’s ability to experience good welfare and to express natural behaviours,” said Craig Daniell, chief executive officer for the BC SPCA, in a statement.
“This decision by the CVBC to make cosmetic ear cropping an unethical practice of veterinary medicine is a significant step forward in the humane treatment of animals in our province and we are extremely pleased to support and endorse this change.”
Ear cropping is a surgery where two-thirds to three-quarters of the dog’s ear is removed. It theoretically is done to make the dog’s ear stand up straight.
According to BC SPCA Animal Health senior manager Dr. Emelia Gordon, ear cropping is “completely a cosmetic procedure and it’s not necessary for the dog at all” and instead, it’s been done “for reasons of tradition since certain purebred dogs have traditionally had their ears cropped.” But according to studies, Dr. Gordon says, there’s no functional benefit to the dog and it’s performed to make the dog or breed look a certain way.
“With ear cropping no longer considered an acceptable practice by the CVBC, any individual performing the procedure and causing distress to an animal could now face animal cruelty charges under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,” he added.
As far as Dr. Gordon is concerned, when it comes to ear cropping is “your puppy is perfect the way it is and they have natural floppy ears the way they’re meant to be…. Doing these types of surgeries are not worth the risk to your companion pets.”
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