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Posted on 09/09/2009 in Your Dog, Your Rights.

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AVMA to keep policy against tail docking and ear cropping

A resolution that proposed to change the American Veterinary Medical Association’s policy against ‘cosmetic procedures’ was vetoed at the AVMA annual convention on July 10, 2009. The Utah VMA brought a resolution that would retract the AVMA’s stated opposition to these procedures, but 75% of the members voted the resolution down. Dr. Roddy C. Sharp, a Utah delegate stated: “To me, it’s strictly an emotional thing. With today’s anesthesia and sutures, it’s relatively painless. Somehow we think in veterinary medicine we shouldn’t do cosmetic surgery because the animal can’t choose. I don’t know if it’s the AVMA’s place to tell an owner what to do.” The Utah VMA resolution reasoned that the current policy should be retracted so that ear cropping and tail docking are performed by veterinarians only. The current official AVMA policy states as follows:
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.

What It Means

While the AVMA policy is not an actual law, nor does it prevent veterinarians from docking tails or cropping ears, it does illustrate that AVMA would support anti-tail docking or ear cropping legislation. It may also make it more difficult to find a veterinarian that will perform tail docks and/or ear crops.