This is a comment on PoC by a visitor who is, as you can see, a coordinator and trapper for her local TNR organisation. The person should be praised for her work. She has criticised the veterinarian who ‘ear tips’ the cats in her care. You have probably heard of the process – a minor op. It is when veterinarians cut off part of the ear flap, of usually the left ear, to signal that the cat has been sterilised through either neutering for male cats and spaying for female cats as part of a TNR program. It helps to protect the cats as people know they cannot procreate.
“I am the coordinator/trapper for our local TNR organization…I am wits end, because the vet that does the surgeries and ear tipping is cutting way too much of the ear on most of the cats. Sadly…there is a lot of drama where I work and when the vet is disgruntled at me…the ear tipping is worse! VERY unprofessional!”
In this instance we have a veterinarian who takes off more of the ear when they are disgruntled at the TNR volunteer who brings the cat to them. As she states, this is very unprofessional and it, rightly, annoys her. However, the photograph that she provides is troublesome because it appears that the veterinarian started to cut off the ear flap about halfway down (of the right ear) and then stopped. I’m not told why the veterinarian stopped. Perhaps it was because the TNR volunteer was with the veterinarian and told them to stop. I hope that she comments on this.
There has been quite a good discussion about their tipping online with which I have engaged. I consider it to be aesthetically unpleasing but that isn’t the point because it is a functional signal which helps to distinguish sterilised cats from non-sterilised cats. It appears that in the past other veterinarians have also cut off too much of the ear flap. There is no need for it. It almost appears on occasions to be a malicious act by a disgruntled veterinarian who is insensitive to the sentience of the animal. They should not be vets.
Alley Cat Allies state this about ear-tipping:
“Eartipping is a surgical procedure performed under anesthesia by a veterinarian – that removes of the distal one-quarter of a cat’s left ear, which is approximately 3/8 inch, or 1 cm, in an adult and proportionally smaller in a kitten.” – Alley Cat Allies. “Distal” means the extremity.
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