Nova Scotia becomes first province to ban declawing of domestic cats
HALIFAX — Nova Scotia has become the first province to ban medically unnecessary cat declawing, part of a worldwide movement against the practice.
The Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association decided Tuesday to amend its code of ethics to make the practice of elective and non-therapeutic declawing ethically unacceptable.
It will come into effect on March 15, 2018, following a three-month education period.
Dr. Frank Richardson, registrar of the association, said the decision follows years of discussion by veterinarians, surveys, public input, and a recent statement from the national association.
The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association strengthened its stand against declawing domestic cats in March, saying the practice causes unnecessary and avoidable pain.
Vets’ groups in many other provinces are having active discussions on the issue, Richardson said: “It’s on everybody’s radar.”
Richardson said while declawing was popular 20 years ago, fewer and fewer veterinarians have been willing to perform the procedure.
“The number is getting smaller and smaller each year. I think if we did nothing it would die off on its own,” he said.
Dr. Hugh Chisholm, a retired veterinarian who has been pushing for the change, said while some municipalities have enacted regulations against declawing, Nova Scotia becomes the first province or state in North America to declare the practice unethical.
“It’s a great day. I’m so proud of the Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association,” said Chisholm, Atlantic Canada director for the Paw Project.
“You are amputating 10 bones from 10 digits on the paws of a cat, and if that doesn’t constitute mutilation, I don’t know what does,” he said.
The practice has already been banned in the U.K., Europe, Australia and several California cities. New Jersey is considering a law that would ban the practice unless a vet decides the operation is medically necessary.
“Now that we have this success in Nova Scotia, I will be contacting the other provincial veterinary associations to encourage them to do the same thing. I think it’s just a matter of time,” Chisholm said.
For years some pet owners have had their cats declawed to prevent scratches to furniture, people and other pets. But the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association says scratching is normal behaviour that cats use to mark territory, help with balance, climb and defend themselves.
Chisholm said there will still be cases where declawing will be medically necessary.
“Those would be very rare cases, but yes if it is in the cat’s best interest to have a claw removed or a few claws removed because of trauma or infection, then yes it is the right thing to do. To do it because you’re worried your sofa is going to get picked or scratched is just wrong,” Chisholm said.
— By Kevin Bissett in Fredericton.
The Canadian Press
Veterinarians will be hurt if declawing is banned? Does this mean they will lose money from torturing cats? The greed is astounding!
If you think your declawed cat is ‘ok’, read the FACTS in my blog.
First class action lawsuit on behalf of declawed cats, against vets who lie or don’t fully disclose facts, fueled by Pro Bono Animal Advocate Team is pending!
Attention people, I have some very good news so please spread the word to your friends, families, and co-workers!
Please share this post and forward this link to anyone you know who was asked if they wanted to declaw their cats or who did declaw their cats.
An international group of Pro bono animal advocates is looking for people who had their cats declawed at VCA Hospitals, Banfield Hospitals, National Veterinary Assoc., Vetcor, any hospital chain, or even single private practitioners in the last 4 years and who want to participate in a class action lawsuit, based on the failure of these veterinarians to disclose the true facts, risks, and consequences of declawing and based on the inappropriate veterinary recommendation of declawing cats to protect human health.
Even if you think your cat doesn’t have any problems from the declaw, you still can join this class.
Please send the info to CatAtty@yahoo.com
In the email subject line please include this information:
Declawed cat: your state or province (Canada), your vet’s affiliations like AVMA, AAHA, AAFP, VCA, Banfield, etc.
(This information is usually readily available on the practice’s website or you can ask them and you can list all that apply).
In the body of the email, please include your name. (More information will be gathered if needed)
Include the cat’s name and birth date (approximate is fine). Your cat does not have to still be alive.
List the year the cat was declawed and the name and address and phone number of the declawing veterinarian.
If possible, it is highly recommended that you get your cat’s records from the vet before the vet realizes why you’re asking for the records. Ask for a copy of every page in the record including the surgery consent form that you signed.
This should be free and the vet should have to give them to you within a week of your asking.
Please add any comments about your experience at the hospital, including what the vet or the staff told you.
1. Were you informed before you paid for the declaw surgery that declawing was an amputation of your cat’s toe bones?
2. Were you told that it was just removing the nail?
3. Were you given the option for pain medications at an extra price?
4. What was the cost of the declaw?
5. Was another procedure like spay or neuter done at the same time? Was the declaw part of a “kitten package?”
6. Were you offered behavior consultation to try the multiple humane alternatives?
7. Did your vet talk you into declawing your cat?
8. Did your vet offer declawing at a discounted price because of a “special” or “coupon?”
9. Did your vet recommend declawing to protect your furnishings or the health of a person? Please describe this in the best detail you can.
10. Did your vet say that your cat will return to normal or be perfectly fine after the declaw heals up?
11. What method did your vet use to amputate the toes and claws? Guillotine method, laser, radiosurgery, or scalpel?
Thank you very much. They will be organizing the data and you will hear back from them via private email by mid November.