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

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan, Shuswap

Environment Canada is forecasting strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy downpours in parts of the Interior

WorkSafe BC conducted 70 inspections in the Okanagan amid B.C.’s reopening plan

WorkSafe BC has conducted 100 inspections at restaurants across the province since May 19

EDITORIAL: Revisiting alcohol consumption

A proposal to allow alcohol consumption in some public spaces in Penticton deserves consideration

Chute Lake Lodge opens June 1, offering glamping, yurt, and ebike rentals

Escape into the wilderness and #lovelocalpenticton when Chute Lake Lodge reopens for the season

Summerland businesses optimistic as reopening begins

Businesses make plans for restructuring as COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

District offers safety tips after cougar spotted near Lake Country school

The animal was seen on a walking trail near Peter Greer Elementary Saturday morning

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Similkameen winery co-owned by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C.’s provincial health officer is part of the original ownership group of Clos du Soleil in Keremeos

Shuswap man reported missing by RCMP has been found unharmed

Salmon Arm resident apologizes for having caused anyone concern

Emergency crews rush youth to hospital after quadding accident in West Kelowna

West Kelowna Fire Rescue’s new off-road vehicle was used in the rescue

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

Most Read