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PENNSYLVANIA

On Aug. 27, Governor Rendell signed into Pennsylvania law a measure designed to protect dogs from undergoing painful surgical procedures at the hands of unskilled owners.

Under the new law, only licensed veterinarians can dock tails, crop ears, debark, remove dew claws and perform caesarian births.

Average pet owners are shocked to learn that these are common practice at commercial breeding facilities.

The new law, which falls under Pennsylvania's cruelty code, empowers local police, dog wardens and humane officers to demand proof on names, dates and locations of the vet who performed the surgery. Any dog with recent wounds should send up a red flag (to the trained eye anyway). Violations are a summary offense, punishable by fines of up to $750.

BANFIELD PET HOSPITAL BANNED TAIL DOCKING

Banfield, The Pet Hospital, the nation's largest network of animal hospitals, has announced it will no longer do tail docking, ear cropping or devocalization on dogs.

Headquartered in Portland, Ore., Banfield is the nation's largest general veterinary practice, with more than 730 hospitals and 2,000 veterinarians nationwide.

Devocalization, or de-barking, is a rare procedure and has long been controversial. It involves the full or partial removal of a dog's vocal chords to keep it from barking.

Tail docking and ear cropping, both quite common, have become more controversial over the past few years. Last year, the American Veterinary Medical Association passed a resolution opposing ear cropping and tail docking of dogs, "when done solely for cosmetic purposes," and encouraging the elimination of ear cropping and tail docking from breed standards.

Banfield has come out strongly against the procedures.

"After thoughtful consideration and reviewing medical research, we have determined it is in the best interest of the pets we treat, as well as the overall practice, to discontinue performing these unnecessary cosmetic procedures," says Karen Faunt, vice president for medical quality advancement. "It is our hope that this new medical protocol will help reduce, and eventually eliminate, these cosmetic procedures altogether."

The hospitals will continue to carry out the surgeries on pets for which it is medically necessary, she says.

There have been numerous attempts in several states, most recently Illinois, New York and Vermont, to outlaw the practice of tail docking and ear cropping. The American Kennel Club has fought such laws.

In statements opposing them, the AKC says that "as prescribed in certain breed standards, (they) are acceptable practices integral to defining and preserving breed character, enhancing good health and preventing injuries," and that "any inference that these procedures are cosmetic and unnecessary is a severe mischaracterization that connotes a lack of respect and knowledge of history and the function of purebred dogs."

Gina Spadafori, an editor at the website PetConnection.com, says that tail docking is still fairly common, in part because it's done within days of birth. Ear cropping, which is generally done when the puppy is between 12 and 14 weeks old, is fading, in part because "people are not comfortable seeing their puppies taped up like that."

Both docking and cropping have gone out of fashion in Europe, she says. In the USA, many breeders of show dogs "would happily stop doing it if they thought they could still win in the ring."


Afghanistan Unrestricted
Argentina Unrestricted
Australia Banned in all states and territories. June 2004
Austria Banned 1 January 2005
Belgium Banned 1 January 2006
Bolivia Unrestricted
Brazil Banned for cosmetic purposes.
Canada Banned in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia by NBVMA and NSVMA; members of these provincial Veterinary Medical Associations are not allowed to perform the procedures on dogs by rule of their organizing body. However it is not Provincial law in Nova Scotia, nor Federal law in Canada.

Banned in Newfoundland. NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR REGULATION 35/12

May 2/2012

Chile Unrestricted
Colombia Considered unnecessary, painful, cruel and mutilation
Costa Rica Unrestricted
Croatia Banned
Cyprus Banned 1991
Czech Republic Banned
Denmark Banned, with exceptions for five gun dog breeds 1 June 1996
Egypt Unrestricted
England Restricted - can only be done by vet on a number of working dog breeds. 2006
Estonia Banned 2001
Finland Banned 1 July 1996
France Unrestricted (France opted out of the rule regarding docking when it ratified the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals)
Germany Banned, with exceptions for working gun dogs 1 May 1998
Greece Banned 1991
Hungary Unrestricted
Iceland Banned 2001
India Unrestricted

Madras High Court Ruling(W.P.NO.1750 OF 2012)

Indonesia Unrestricted
Iran Unrestricted (tail docking and ear trimming are still taught in veterinary faculties in Iran)
Ireland Unrestricted by law, but is not permitted by the Veterinary Council of Ireland who deem it to be unethical.
Israel Banned for cosmetic purposes. 2000
Italy Banned
Kuwait Unrestricted
Latvia Banned
Lebanon Unrestricted
Lithuania Banned
Luxembourg Banned 1991
Malaysia Unrestricted
Morocco Unrestricted - Morocco has no animal protection laws
Mauritius Unrestricted
Mexico Unrestricted
Nepal Unrestricted
Netherlands Banned 1 September 2001
New Zealand Cropping ears is banned, docking tails is restricted to those trained and acting under an approved quality assurance programme in puppies less than four days old. Code of Welfare

Northern Ireland

Ear Cropping Illegal. Welfare of Animals Bill (2011) out rightly bans tail docking.
Norway Banned 1987
Peru Unrestricted
Philippines Unrestricted
Portugal Cropping ears is banned. Docking tails is allowed, as long as it's performed by a veterinarian. 2001
Poland Banned 1997
Russia Restricted
Scotland Banned 2006
Slovakia Banned 1 January 2003
Slovenia Banned. April 2007
South Africa Banned June 2007
Spain Banned in some autonomies
Sri Lanka Unrestricted
Sweden Banned 1989
Switzerland Banned

1 July 1981 for the

ears 1988 for the tail

Taiwan Unrestricted
Thailand Unrestricted
Turkey Banned 24 June 2004
United States

Unrestricted (some states, including New York, and Vermont have considered bills to make the practice illegal)

Virgin Islands Banned 2005
Wales Restricted - can only be done by vet on a number of working dog breeds. 2006