The Nova Scotia government has introduced legislation that will ban animal fighting and cosmetic surgeries on animals in the province “unless medically necessary.”
Keith Colwell, the province’s agriculture minister, introduced the changes to Nova Scotia’s Animal Protection Act on Thursday.
“Nova Scotians can have confidence that our animal protection is among the best in the country,” Colwell said in a press release.
Cosmetic surgeries — such as tail docking, ear cropping, debarking and declawing — will have to be considered medically necessary and carried out by a veterinarian.
The legislation will update the act’s language around animal cruelty to animal welfare, a change that the government says will better reflect the intent of legislation.
Officials say inspectors appointed under the act will be better able to enforce existing court orders restricting animal ownership, with animal welfare inspection and enforcement being strengthened.
The province says animal fighting will be prohibited and enforceable under the revised act.
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Jo-Anne Landsburg, chief provincial inspector of the Nova Scotia SPCA, welcomed the changes.
“These amendments will certainly reduce the challenges faced by the SPCA when coming to the aid of animals in Nova Scotia,” said Landsburg in a statement.
Declawing had already been prohibited in the province by Nova Scotia’s Veterinary Medical Association, which amended its code of ethics to make the practice of elective and non-therapeutic declawing ethically unacceptable.