Quebec to introduce bill banning cat declawing, other unneeded pet surgeries

In this Friday, May 20, 2016, file photo, Dr. Richard Goldstein, chief medical officer at the Animal Medical Center, checks on one of his patients. Mary Altaffer/AP Photo

Quebec’s agriculture minister plans to introduce a bill banning cat declawing and other unnecessary pet surgeries.

In a recent letter to Quebec’s government house leader, André Lamontagne said the upcoming legislation would ban declawing, ear cropping, tail docking and devocalization surgeries for cats and dogs, unless the procedures are deemed medically necessary.

Read more: Declawing pets is actually ‘amputating a joint’ and should be outlawed: experts

Veterinary associations and the SPCA have long called on the province to ban the surgeries, which they describe as painful, unnecessary and detrimental to animals’ ability to express normal behaviour.

Cat declawing is already banned in most Canadian provinces, including British Columbia, Alberta and all four Atlantic provinces.

Read more: Former Quebec zoo owner pleads guilty to animal welfare violations, avoids criminal charges

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A petition with 21,652 signatures tabled at the Quebec legislature in February describes declawing in particular as an invasive procedure that involves not only removing claws but also amputating bones and tendons.

Lamontagne’s letter indicates the bill will be tabled by this summer.

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