Oct 20th 2013: There are two snippets of good news from Canada that benefit the Canadian domestic cat. They both concern declawing. One is actual and the other is potential. Both concern Nova Scotia, which is here:
Halifax Veterinary Hospital – Nova Scotia
This veterinary hospital has made one of those declarations that makes me smile. Actually, it brings me joy.
Due to the long term side effects, chronic pain and arthritis as well as physiological and psychological changes associated with the de-claw procedure; the staff at Fairview Animal Hospital, Halifax Veterinary Hospital and Spryfield Animal Hospital will not perform the onychectomy procedure.
We like that don’t we? Firstly, this is a veterinary clinic admitting that declawing causes a lot of problems for the cat both behaviorially (mental) and anatomically (physical damage). Secondly, they have changed their ways and this mirrors what we discussed on PoC recently when a veterinarian decided to stop declawing cats in America. Stopping is not as good as never doing it but it is better than not stopping!
Perhaps this animal hospital’s courageous and ethical decision will encourage others to follow. This is quite possible because….
Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association
The Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association are debating whether to change their code of ethics to include a ban on vets declawing cats. The vets of Canada will vote on a ban at their AGM on November 23rd, 2013. To be honest, I would very much doubt that the proposal will be carried through to an amendment. However, it is being discussed and that is progress as far as I am concerned.
In 2010 they amended the code to include a ban on cosmetic surgery. Sadly, it excluded declawing:
“No member of the Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association shall perform cosmetic surgery on an animal for the purpose of having the animal’s appearance conform to a breed standard or tradition. Cosmetic surgery is defined as non therapeutic surgical procedures, which alter the appearance of an animal for purely cosmetic purposes.”
They admit in this statement that non therapeutic surgery is cosmetic surgery. We all know that 99.9% of declaw surgery is non-therapeutic so 99.9% of declaw surgery is cosmetic surgery and should therefore be banned. This may come about.
I would not hold your breath. However, if Canada, through their veterinary association, did ban the declawing of cats it would be a massive step forward in the campaign of all cat lovers to ban declawing in the USA, the center of the world of this veterinary aberration.