Taken from the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association’s website:
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Winnipeg, Tuesday, February 7, 2012 – On Friday, February 3rd, 2012, at its Annual General Meeting, the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) passed a bylaw stating Manitoba’s veterinarians are not permitted to perform ear cropping on dogs for cosmetic purposes. The newly adopted Bylaw 31: Ear Cropping states: “No member shall perform cosmetic ear cropping on a canine for the purpose of having the animal’s appearance conform to a breed standard or tradition.
Generally performed on puppies at around three months old, ear cropping is a surgical procedure that reshapes a dog’s ears by removing both skin and a cartilage core. When removing this “floppy” part of a dog’s ear, known as the “pinna”, approximately one-half of the entire ear is removed. Once the tissue is removed, a splint or bracket is used to help hold the ears while they heal in an upright position.
The MVMA believes this procedure is unnecessary in the canine species, causing pain and distress to the patient without any medical benefit. It should be noted that surgical alterations in cases of injury or for reasons of health are not considered cosmetic.
If a Manitoba veterinarian was found to be performing cosmetic ear cropping, they would initially be investigated for breach of Bylaw 31. Then, if found in contravention, penalties could range from, a letter of reprimand to termination of their veterinary license in the province of Manitoba.
Though ear cropping was typically performed by veterinarians, dog breeders and owners often undertook amateur attempts of this procedure. However, as with all veterinary surgical procedures, no one but a licensed veterinarian is permitted to perform veterinary medicine, as set out in the Veterinary Medical Act. If a lay person is found guilty of having performed surgical procedures on any animal (including canine ear cropping), it could be in contravention of this Act, and he or she would be subject to fines of ranging from $5000 for a first offense to $30,000 for a second offence. He or she could also be charged under the Animal Care Act.
The tally of provinces in Canada in which it is banned is now up to three. Nova Scotia banned tail docking and ear cropping in March of 2010 while New Brunswick has had the ban in place since September 2008.
As many of you can see, Kyuss does not have his ears cropped. When I first decided I wanted a dobermann at the age of 15, I knew I wanted to have his or her ears cropped. There was no doubt in my mind. I had put in a lot of research and come to the conclusion that it was safe, it was relatively pain-free and it would be healthier overall.
When the time came to put the deposit down on Kyuss, I still was dead set on cropped ears. Now however, there wasn’t just a “me” anymore, there was an “us.” Since he would also be my husband’s dog just as much mine, I had to include his desires as well. It turns out, hubby is fond of the floppy ears. We talked, and talked, and talked about it, right up to the day Kyuss came home with us. Even then, we still had time to make the decision as ear cropping can be done from the ages of 7 – 12 weeks with success.
That’s just it though, we had the choice. Manitoba has now taken that choice away from people. Many, I’m sure, will attempt the procedure themselves, putting their dog through a lot of pain; which I saw this firsthand while living in the UK for 3 years.
It’s a sad, sad day today for breeders of cropped and docked breeds all over the country.