Nova Scotia Bans Cat Declawing


In a surprising move, Nova Scotia has become the first of the Canadian provinces to ban cat declawing. This happened as an effect of a new code imposed by the Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association. The association issued an announcement last December. There, they prohibited the vets from taking away the cats’ claws starting with March 15, 2018. They allowed for a period of three months of ‘education’ regarding the new rules.

Major Changes for the Vets and Pets

However, even though vets are not allowed to offer elective declawing, they can remove the claws if they are infected or diseased. In 2017, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association opposed elective declawing. The official name given to it is ‘non-therapeutic partial digital amputation’.

According to the association, the procedure makes the cats go through unnecessary pain. Moreover, they run the risk of infections, or further surgical complications to appear. They added that scratching is just a normal behavior. It helps cats mark their territory, together with their scent.

Why Do People Do It?

Many people who own cats declare that they used this procedure to stop the cats from scratching either other people or the furniture around the house. However, the CVMA declared that removing part of the cat’s paw bones (the one containing the claws) affects the balance of the pet. They also underlined the unnecessariness of the pain caused to the animal.

For this reason, they see the practice as being ethically unacceptable. In their opinion, this should not be performed without presenting the available alternatives and educating the client. Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives through which the pet can avoid pain. Up until now, the vets all over the country could refuse to declaw the cats. However, only the provincial veterinarian regulators had the authority to completely ban this practice.

Erin VanDyke lives on her family farm and has more than 35 years of hands-on experience with the use of livestock guard dogs for predator control. On their farm, Jan and her family use corgis as herding dogs and have raised Shetland sheep, Fainting goats, Morgan and Trakehner horses, and historic breeds of chickens and turkeys. Erin is also an active beekeeper.


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