Vancouver – The College of Veterinarians of British Columbia is banning the practice of declawing cats unless it is necessary as an appropriate medical therapy.
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 and some cities in California.
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 (ss. 52 and 61).
CVBC Council passed a motion on May 4, 2018 making the mandatory standard effective as soon as registrants receive notification. Please follow the link below to read the standard.
The CVBC says there are medical conditions that may necessitate partial or full digit amputation of some or all digits as an appropriate medical therapy.
This includes biopsy of a nail or phalanx for the purposes of diagnosis or surgery to treat the following:
- Neoplasia of the nail bed or phalanges
- Severe or irreversible trauma
- Immune-mediated disease affecting the nail bed
- Paronychia (inflammation or infection of the nail bed)
- Onychodystrophy (abnormal formation of the nail)
- Onychogryphosis (hypertrophy and abnormal curvature of the nail)
- Onychomadesis (sloughing of the nail)
- Onychomalacia (softening of the nail)
- Onychomycosis (fungal infection)
- Onychoschizia (splitting of the nail)
The college says there are no medical conditions or environmental circumstances of the cat owner to justify the declawing of domestic cats.