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Two More Provincial Veterinary Regulatory Bodies Ban Declawing Cats

November 8, 2018

The P.E.I. Veterinary Medical Association (read more) and the Newfoundland College of Veterinarians are the most recent provincial veterinary regulatory bodies to ban the practice of partial digital amputation of the domestic felid, otherwise known as declawing. Read more.

The College of Veterinarians of British Columbia passed a motion to ban the practice of declawing cats unless it is necessary as an appropriate medical therapy in May 2018. The Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association amended its code of ethics to make the practice of elective and non-therapeutic declawing ethically unacceptable, and it came into effect on March 15, 2018. 

In March 2017, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) released a revised position on Partial Digital Amputation (Onychectomy or Declawing) of the Domestic Felid stating it “views non-therapeutic PDA as ethically unacceptable when performed without comprehensive client education including a thorough review of available alternatives, as the surgery has the potential to cause unnecessary and avoidable pain and alternatives to PDA are available.”

CVMA positions are intended to provide a “forward-thinking” viewpoint on issues based on what is happening not just in Canadian society and the veterinary profession, but internationally. The positions are not intended to regulate the profession of veterinary medicine; however, it is recognized that provincial regulatory bodies may consider them when they update or amend veterinary bylaws.

Partial Digital Amputation (declawing) is banned in Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Brazil, the United Kingdom, parts of Europe and some cities in California.