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February 14, 2012 at 8:24 AMComments: 6 Faves: 0

Cropping of Dogs' Ears Banned

By Bri Luginbill More Blogs by This Author

Hello and welcome to The Kibble. This week we explore a new ban that’s been made in 2 provinces in Canada—a ban that prohibits cosmetic cropping of dogs' ears.

Newfoundland and Manitoba will no longer allow the cropping of dogs’ ears. The ban was put in place to protect dogs' health, safety, and rights. According to someone that's backing the ban, it’s for the dog's own good.

How is cropping done?

Dogs have to be put under anesthesia during the procedure. Splints are placed on the ears, taped back and left for around 6 weeks. This way dogs ears will start to stand upright instead of flopping down like some do naturally. Sometimes the procedure can cause infections and in rare cases can lead to serious illness.

Cropped ears on the left, uncropped ears on the right.

Photo Credit: National Post

Some believe that this can cause a dog a lot of unnecessary pain because it’s not for a legit medical concern, just a cosmetic one.

It's something we find extremely inhumane to cause pain and distress to an animal with procedures that have no medical benefit (that is) strictly for cosmetic purposes,” said Shawna Randolph, spokesperson for the Edmonton Humane Society.

Others support the ban because unlike us, dogs cannot make an educated decision on whether or not they want to have the surgery.

“Adults can make an informed decision based on risk-benefit ratio. Dogs can’t,” said Dr. Worb of Anderson Animal Hospital.

A high fine

If a dogs’ ears are cropped either in Manitoba or Newfoundland fines can range from $5,000-$30,000. Veterinarians found performing the surgery would be found in violation and breach the Animal Care Act.

But what about those who do not agree with the ban? In their eyes, cropping has been around for a long time and originated with the purpose that breeders wanted to preserve breed standards. One breeder says that they should be allowed to keep those breeding standards by allowing cropping.

Another breeder, Gayleen Robertson, does not think there should be a ban,

I don't believe there should be a ban. It should be left as a choice for individual vets. And it's an issue of our rights. It's going down a slippery slope on our rights.

Another fear breeders have about the ban is that people will still try and get their dogs' ears cropped no matter what. Now that they cannot go to a veterinarian, they may go to a place that underground with unclean equipment and shady procedures. This would be very risky to the dogs' health.

So, you’ve heard both sides, which one are you on?
Are you for or against the cropping of dogs' ears?

Photo Credit: drewesque

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  • What's not to love about floppy-eared dogs, right? Tail docking is more offensive to me than ear cropping. Glad to see we're starting to emerge from the ages of barbarism.

  • I totally agree Seth! It's a painful thing to go through and I've seen dogs that have had botched ear cropping jobs. The tail is even worse though and I imagine terribly painful. People try to do tail cropping at home too with a string tied tighter and tighter at the base of the tail, just cruel. Dog's also use their tails to communicate with the world and this takes that away.

  • John, I worked at a vet and was there when they did a tail cropping. Next time one came up, I had to leave the building. Seriously, a dab of local anesthetic, then they basically lop it off with a tin snips! Screaming, wailing, blood everywhere... I told the office manager that I either had to leave or not be scheduled when those were going to happen.

    Of course, declawing cats is really no different. They just cut the last knuckle off. Imagine that being done to us?!

  • I don't understand the point of cropping ears or docking tails.

    This reminds me somewhat of an article in National Geographic from last year about breeding foxes as pets. Scientists in Russia have been breeding together foxes that have nice/friendly characteristics - and interestingly, dog-like physical traits have followed from that: wagging tails and floppy ears, for example. (Note that they did not breed together foxes that already had floppy ears - this trait followed naturally by selecting for a nice personality.)

    So, really, to dock tails and crop ears is to take away the traits that make dogs man's best friend.

  • Barbaric! The US continues to be behind on getting with the times. We need to ban this unnecessary, cosmetic only purpose. The AKC needs to realize it doesn't "break" the breed standard they are looking for, in fact, I think leaving the dogs as all-natural is the breed standard, don't you?

  • Great point, Victoria! If all of the dogs of a certain breed are born a certain way...then I'd say that's pretty standard!

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