A new regulation prohibiting “cosmetic surgeries” on cats and dogs has just been adopted in Quebec.

The regulation, which will come into effect in 18 months, prohibits declawing, devocalization, tail docking and ear cropping of cats and dogs. These procedures will no longer be legal in Quebec unless done for medical reasons.

The regulation respecting the welfare and safety of domestic animals and equines comes from the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

It also defines the minimum standards of care for keeping or breeding cats, dogs, guinea pigs, pet pigs, rabbits, ferrets, and equines, such as socialization, enrichment and exercise.

It will make it illegal to euthanize animals by gassing.

In a news release, the ministry said the regulations will provide specific standards for pet owners and breeders across the province. 

“The publication of the regulation is a big step for the protection of animals in Quebec,” said the minister, André Lamontagne.

Putting standards into law

The regulation banning cosmetic surgeries on domestic pets comes after years of pressure from organizations like the Quebec Order of Veterinarians, which banned its members from docking tails or trimming ears in 2017. 

However, these prohibitions were never formally put into law — until now. 

In a statement to CBC, the ministry said the 18-month waiting period is to allow people and businesses time to comply with the new rules.

However, one rule that will come into effect in on Aug. 25 is that newly licensed breeders will be limited to 50 animals.

However, some animal rights’ advocates say that this new rule should also apply to existing operations.

“Anyone who currently has more than 50 animals for reproduction purposes will be allowed to continue to keep those animals. And it’s only new breeders who apply for the permits that won’t be allowed to have over 50 animals,” said Sophie Gaillard of the Montreal SPCA.

“The measure has been diluted considerably,” said Gaillard.

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