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

Faulty janitorial equipment likely caused Saanich school fire

Saturday morning fire damaged roof of Strawberry Vale Elementary

Greater Victoria records highest unemployment in history with 11 per cent

Past peak was 7.8 per cent more than a decade ago, according to South Island Prosperity Partnership

Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre to host a trio of acts

Aaron Pritchett, Alex Cuba and Valdy will each play four shows

Garth Homer Society in Saanich turns lemons into lemonade with online programs

Victoria disability organization sets up online programs and learning tools in wake of COVID-19

Human behaviour likely to deter birds from Esquimalt Lagoon, survey suggests

More Great Blue Herons spotted, fewer mallard ducks seen

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Most Read