Nova Scotia Bans Declawing

Nova Scotia, a Canadian province on the Atlantic coast is the first geographical area larger than a city to ban declawing. In doing so others may follow including I would hope a US state or states. There is a gradual distaste for declawing amongst North American vets as it blatantly flies in the face of their oath and all they stand for.

Declawing banned in Nova Scotia

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This is an important moment in the fight against declawing in North America. Until now only eight cities in America have banned declawing. There are discussions about banning it in New York State and one other state (I have forgotten which one).

Notably this is the first declawing ban concerning an administrative area geographically larger than a city. A province is an administrative division of a country, somewhat similar to US states. Although it is a small province with a relatively small population. I would hope it encourages other provinces in Canada and some states in the USA to ban declawing.

I have a strong sense that other Canadian provinces will follow as we are told by Dr Frank Richardson, registrar of the Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association that, “It’s on everybody’s radar”.

Richardson admits that while declawing was popular 20 years ago, fewer veterinarians are willing to perform the operation today, and rightly so, because it is thoroughly obnoxious and against everything a veterinarian stands for and swears by.

When companion animal history is written in a hundred years, Nova Scotia will stand head and shoulders above other administrative divisions in North America as the first to ban cat declawing.

What appears to me to be surprising is that the Nova Scotia vets, through their association, Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association, have decided that non-therapeutic declawing (almost all declawing is non-therapeutic) is unethical. This is in sharp contrast to the stance of the American Veterinary Medical Association(AVMA) who insist in their guidelines that it is up to veterinarians and their clients to decide whether a cat is declawed or not. This inevitably leads to cats being declawed because vets don’t discuss the matter properly but quietly promote it.

“It’s a great day, I’m so proud of the Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association”, says Dr Hugh Chisholm the Atlantic Canada director of the Paw Project and a retired veterinarian.

“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 ban comes into effect in March 2018. Let’s see the dominoes fall, please.

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