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ABVMA votes to ban unnecessary medical/surgical procedures

Veterinarians are now prohibited from performing procedures, such as tail docking and declawing

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The Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA) has approved two resolutions it says will have a substantial influence on animal abuse cases and unnecessary surgeries.

“This is an important step forward for our profession and for animal welfare in this province,” says Darrell Dalton, DVM, registrar of the ABVMA.

The first resolution requires veterinary professionals to report cases of abuse and neglect, and to interfere should they see an animal is suffering. The resolution’s classification of abuse includes: malicious or inappropriate infliction of physical injury, sexual abuse, mental abuse, poisoning, asphyxia, drowning, and signs of organized dog fighting. Neglect includes the failure to provide animals with basic necessities supporting health and well-being for extended periods leading to suffering, serious injury, or death. Basic necessities are considered food and water, medical attention, shelter from harmful weather, sufficient space, hygienic housing, ventilation and lighting, opportunity for exercise, and a stimulating social environment that prevents the induction of a negative emotional or psychological state.

The second resolution recommends the following unnecessary medical/surgical procedures be banned:
• ear cropping;
• tail docking;
• tail nicking;
• tail blocking;
• partial digital amputation (declawing or onychectomy);
• cosmetic dentistry;
• tattooing that is not for the purpose of registration and identification;
• tendonectomy;
• front dewclaw removal;
• body piercing; and
• devocalization.

Approving these resolutions allows the ABVMA to recommend modifications to the Veterinary Profession Act General Regulation.

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