Quebec Set to Ban Cosmetic Surgery for Companion Animals in Eighteen Months

Quebec adopts a new regulation coming into effect in eighteen months that prohibits declawing, devocalization, tail docking, and ear cropping of cats and dogs (see Issue 12, Spotlights, Legislative Updates and Issue 17, Legislative Updates). Such procedures will no longer be legal in Quebec unless they are done for medical reasons. The regulation respecting the welfare and safety of domestic animals and equines originates from the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. In addition, the regulation defines 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, and it will also make euthanizing animals by gassing illegal. The ministry stated in a news release that the regulations will provide specific standards for pet owners and breeders across Quebec. The new regulation comes after years of pressure from organizations including the Quebec Order of Veterinarians, which banned its members from docking tails or trimming ears in 2017; however, these prohibitions were never officially put into law until now. The ministry states that the eighteen-month waiting period is to allow individuals and businesses time to comply with the new regulation. One rule that will come into effect on August 25th is that newly licensed breeders will be limited to fifty animals, although some animal rights advocates maintain that this rule should additionally apply to existing operations. Read more here (in French).