British Columbia Bans Declawing

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Veterinarians Act sets a new standard of care in British Columbia.

May 8, 2018 – Dr. Margie Scherk, Paw Project-British Columbia Director reports that the College of Veterinarians of British Columbia (CVBC) has banned the practice of declawing cats unless it is necessary as an appropriate medical therapy. Their announcement states:

“The CVBC recognizes that elective and non-therapeutic declawing is ethically problematic and that it is not an appropriate means of dealing with feline behaviour issues.…No medical conditions or environmental circumstances of the cat owner justify the declawing of domestic cats.”

The new mandatory standard of practice is being implemented after researching other jurisdictions and consultation with BC veterinarians. Although Nova Scotia is the only other Canadian province to ban cat declawing, it is also banned in Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Brazil, the United Kingdom, parts of Europe, eight cities in California, and Denver, Colorado.

Under the Veterinarians Act, the CVBC has the power to investigate and impose disciplinary action on veterinarians who ignore the new standard of practice. The Act allows disciplinary enforcement of non-compliance with bylaws and mandatory standards of practice, without distinction.