May 30, 2019 – Veterinarians of the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association voted overwhelmingly to ban the practice of declawing cats without a medical reason. The vote came back with 73 per cent in favour of a bylaw banning the procedure. The ban was effective immediately.
The vote made Manitoba the seventh province in Canada to bring in a ban on the procedure that amputates the first joint of a cat’s toes. Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, and Alberta voted to ban the practice earlier in 2019, while British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia prohibited it in 2018.
“I think attitudes within the general public and the veterinary profession about this elective procedure are changing and new research has emerged that suggests that declawing cats is not an entirely benign procedure,” said Dr. Jonas Watson, president of the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association. “I think there was misunderstanding on the part of pet owners about what this procedure was. I don’t think most people totally understood this involved the removal of bone and not simply nail.”