Amend the Criminal Code of Canada to outlaw the cosmetic mutilation of dogs
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"(Tail docking) is a barbaric operation which is performed on un-fortunate puppies in certain breeds for show purposes only. The removal of the dogs tail, which was given to him to wag when pleased, is a sad reflection on civilized people. The removal of the tail in no way benefits the dog. Breeders who have docked hundreds of tails say that the puppies hardly feels it, but that is not the point. It is wrong for a human to mutilate a beautiful dog for such a paltry reason as a show..... Future generations will look back in horror at this unnecessary cruelty." - Hilary Harmer, The Dobermann, 1968
It should be noted "the tail is not merely an inconsequential appendage. It is an anatomically and physiologically significant structure which has many biological functions that should not be underestimated.’ For example, ‘the tail acts as a counterbalance when the dog is leaping, walking along narrow structures, or climbing.’ …[T]he tail plays an important role in defecating, and that the muscles used to wag the tail may also strengthen the perineal area and prevent perineal hernias. In addition, the dog uses the tail to signal many emotions and intentions. As a result, tail docking can adversely affect the interaction of a dog with other dogs or with humans. Furthermore, the tail enhances human-dog interactions, as the tail is the most obvious means of communication between human and dog. Finally, the absence of a tail may cause a dog to be the victim of attacks by other dogs due to an inability to communicate." Cropping and Docking: A Discussion of the Controversy and the Role of Law in Preventing Unnecessary Cosmetic Surgery on Dogs published by The Animal Legal & Historical Center of the Michigan University College of Law
• In Canada the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association has issued a position statement that "cosmetic surgery is unnecessary. Surgical alterations in cases of injury or for reasons of health are not considered cosmetic". Examples of cosmetic procedures listed include tail docking and ear cropping in the canine species.
• The World Small Animal Veterinary Association has issued this statement: "The WSAVA considers amputation of dogs' tails to be an unnecessary surgical procedure and contrary to the welfare of the dog. The WSAVA recommends that all canine organizations phase out any recommendations for tail amputations (docking) from their breed standards. The WSAVA recommends that the docking of dogs' tails be made illegal except for the professionally diagnosed therapeutic reasons, and only then by suitably qualified persons such as registered veterinarians, under conditions of anesthesia that minimize pain and stress."
• The Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights takes the following position: "The Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights is opposed to various surgeries done to meet "breed standards" or to correct so-called vices. Procedures such as ear cropping, tail docking, or debarking in dogs, or declawing in cats are unacceptable because of the suffering and disfigurement they cause an animal are not offset by any benefits to the animal. If such a procedure can be shown to be necessary for medical or humane reasons, then it is permissible. The "breed standards" for dogs ust be altered to allow the animals to be shown without being surgically mutilated."
• The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has offered only the following equivocal position statement: "Ear cropping and tail docking in dogs for cosmetic reasons are not medically indicated nor of benefit to the patient. These procedures cause pain and distress, and, as with all surgical procedures, are accompanied by inherent risks of anesthesia, blood loss, and infection. Therefore, veterinarians should counsel dog owners about these matters before agreeing to perform these surgeries".
• The American Animal Hospital Association has taken the position that ear cropping and tail docking in pets for cosmetic reasons are not medically indicated nor of benefit to the patient.
The Australian Veterinary Association also has policies that condemn various cosmetic procedures such as tail docking of dogs and ear cropping of dogs.
Countries where cropping ears is banned:
Australia, Ireland, New Zealand , Singapore , Turkey, province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Ear cropping has been prohibited by the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals and strongly discouraged by a number of national veterinary associations in Argentina, Canada, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Estonia, France, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia,. New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, and Uruguay.
Countries where docking tails is banned:
France, Hungary, Italy, England - From April 6th, 2007 cosmetic tail docking has been illegal in England with the exception of certified working dogs. Scotland - In Scotland there is a total ban on tail docking with no exemptions from the 30th of April. Any breeder who transfers puppies across the border to be docked will face a £5,000 ($10,000) fine or 6 months in jail. Wales - A ban is already being enforced in Wales , and a date has yet to be set for Northern Ireland
Countries where both procedures are banned:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, South Africa, Virgin Islands, Italian Cities of Turin and Rome.
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