The government of the Canadian province of Quebec has taken another step forward in its efforts to ban many procedures for animals deemed non-essential, such as declawing, tail docking, devocalization, and ear cropping, often performed on pets like cats and dogs.
While veterinarians can step in and make exceptions if it is deemed by the doctor that the procedure is medically necessary, the province's government is drafting legislation to try and ban these types of procedures by summer, lawmakers hope, the CBC reported.
Canadian Agriculture Minister André Lamontagne said Quebec's Animal Welfare and Safety Act is still currently being drafted following consultations on the legislation last December.
Quebec's Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food said that current laws had "no specific regulation" over these, oftentimes, non-essential procedures, but made a point to formally recommend against performing them.
"A new draft regulation including welfare standards for companion animals, including cats and dogs, is being developed," the agency said. In a statement, Quebec's Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food also said that "the latest scientific advances" would be taken into account when proposing guidelines.
Montreal-based animal health technician Alexandra Yaksich started a petition which sparked lawmakers' interest in proposing the animal welfare legislation, according to the CBC.
"I know this is something that seems small to a lot of people, but it's really not," she said.
"It's not just taking off the claw, it's the amputation of the tip of the finger," Yaksich said. "That has all kinds of effects."