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.

Just Posted

High winds cause havoc for sailors

RCMP assists boats with sail problems on Okanagan Lake

Late night confrontation between two men in Peachland

RCMP was called to the scene of a physcial encounter on Saturday evening where one man was injured

Kelowna hotel suffers water damage

Guests at the Royal Anne Hotel in Bernard were greeted by firefighters last night

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

Hodge: You can’t make this stuff up

Kelowna columnist with a story that proves in life, it’s never too late

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

Who is Curtis Sagmoen?

The Observer reveals what we know about the man attached to the Silver Creek property where human remains were found

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

First-place Warriors edge Caps, visit ‘Backs today

West Kelowna scores twice in 25 seconds early in third to overtake Cowichan Valley in BCHL action

Grab a book; thank your librarian

All libraries are cornerstones of their communities and we celebrate them during library month

Five decades of volunteering

Even though she is approaching 70, Merle kindred continues to volunteer around the world

Twarynski trick sends Rockets past ‘Hawks

Rockets end five-game winless streak with victory Friday over Portland

Vehicle leaves scene after striking lamp post

After hitting a lamp post on Springfield Road, a vehicle has left the scene

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Most Read