AVMA Comes Out Against Ear Cropping and Tail Docking

 |  Dec 2nd 2008  |   0 Contributions


I mentioned in a recent post that veterinarians are becoming increasingly reluctant to crop ears and dock tails for cosmetic purposes or to meet breed standards.

Many vets, myself included, purposefully have not learned the procedures and have not familiarized themselves with breed standards. I have amputated tails and ears during my career, but I have done so only when medically necessary.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is the nation's leading organization of veterinarians. I am a member. It is my opinion that the AVMA has a less-than-perfect track record on animal welfare issues. The AVMA's position on Proposition 2 was, in my opinion, an example of poor leadership by a very important organization.

However, less-than-perfect is not the same as all bad. The AVMA has just released a position statement on ear cropping and tail docking that I feel is extraordinarily well reasoned. Here it is.

The AVMA opposes ear cropping and tail docking of dogs when done solely for cosmetic purposes. The AVMA encourages the elimination of ear cropping and tail docking from breed standards.

A recent article in DVM Newsmagazine quotes Dr. Ron DeHaven, chief executive officer of the AVMA, elaborating on the AVMA's new position statement.

"For many years the AVMA has acknowledged that ear cropping and tail docking of dogs for cosmetic purposes are not medically indicated nor of benefit to our canine patients," DeHaven explains. "If it can be responsibly demonstrated that the purpose of performing the procedure is to protect the health and welfare of the dog, then of course the association would support the appropriate surgery."

Dr. DeHaven, I couldn't have said it better than you.

About the photo: I think Spooner the Doberman/Dobie mix looks adorable with floppy ears and a long tail!

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