News & Events

Two Provincial Veterinary Regulatory Bodies Ban Declawing Cats for Non-therapeutic Reasons

May 10, 2018

The College of Veterinarians of British Columbia is the most recent provincial veterinary regulatory body to ban the practice of declawing cats unless it is necessary as an appropriate medical therapy. The new mandatory standard of practice is being implemented after researching other jurisdictions and consultation with BC veterinarians. Nova Scotia is the only other Canadian province to ban cat declawing.

CVBC Council passed a motion on May 4, 2018 making the mandatory standard effective as soon as registrants receive notification.

The Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association amended its code of ethics to make the practice of elective and non-therapeutic declawing ethically unacceptable in late 2017. It officially came into effect on March 15, 2018, after a three-month education period. 

In March 2017, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) had 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.