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In Quebec, it will soon be illegal to declaw a cat or dock a dog's ears or tail

A new law in the Canadian province will make it illegal to declaw and devocalize cats and dogs. Tail docking and ear cropping will also be banned.

In Quebec, it will soon be illegal to declaw a cat or dock a dog's ears or tail
Image Source: Przemyslaw Iciak / EyeEm / Getty Images

In Quebec, one of Canada's thirteen provinces, a new law will prohibit "cosmetic surgeries" from being performed on pet cats and dogs. The law will make it illegal to declaw and devocalize cats and dogs and bans tail docking and ear cropping. The law will be enacted in 18 months. The regulation will be overseen by the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food. The ministry was motivated to introduce the law as a means to respect the welfare and safety of domestic animals and equines, CBC News reports.


The legislation will also define the minimum standards of care for keeping or breeding cats, dogs, guinea pigs, pet pigs, rabbits, ferrets and equines, such as socialization, enrichment and exercise. Furthermore, it will make it illegal to euthanize animals by gassing. The ministry in a press release stated that it would provide specific standards for pet owners and breeders across the province of Quebec shortly. Minister André Lamontagne affirmed, "The publication of the regulation is a big step for the protection of animals in Quebec." This is indeed an important win for animal activists across the country.


The regulation was largely inspired by pressure placed on the ministry by organizations such as the Quebec Order of Veterinarians. The group first banned its members from docking tails or trimming ears in 2017. Nonetheless, these prohibitions were never officially written into law, until now. According to the ministry, the 18-month waiting period is a way to allow people and businesses time to comply with the new rules. However, a new law will be put into action much sooner, later this month. Starting August 25 of this year, newly licensed breeders will be limited to 50 animals.


Some animal rights advocates have asserted their disagreement, arguing that this new rule should also apply to existing operations. Sophie Gaillard of the Montreal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) expressed her dissatisfaction in a statement. "Anyone who currently has more than 50 animals for reproduction purposes will be allowed to continue to keep those animals," she explained. "And it is only new breeders who apply for the permits that won't be allowed to have over 50 animals. The measure has been diluted considerably." Whether her statement rings true or not is yet to be seen. Meanwhile, other animal rights' advocates have celebrated the small win.


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