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It will soon be illegal to perform “cosmetic surgeries” on pet cats and dogs in Quebec

A new law set to come to force in Quebec in 18 months forbids the declawing and devocalization of cats and dogs as well as tail docking and ear cropping.

A new law in Quebec, one of Canada’s 13 provinces, will make it illegal to perform “cosmetic surgeries” on cats and dogs that are kept as pets. The law, which will come into effect in a year and a half, forbids the declawing and devocalization of cats and dogs as well as tail docking and ear cropping. The Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food, which will oversee the regulation, was inspired to enact the law as a way to respect the welfare and security of domesticated animals, according to CBC News.

The new legislation will further make euthanizing animals by gassing unlawful. It will also set specific standards of care for pet owners and breeders across the province with respect to domesticated animals, such as socialization, enrichment, and exercise, for keeping or breeding cats, dogs, guinea pigs, pet pigs, rabbits, and equines, the ministry stated in a press release. According to the minister, André Lamontagne, “the publication of the regulation is a big step for the protection of animals in Quebec.”

After years of pressure from groups like the Quebec Order of Veterinarians, which in 2017 prohibited its members from docking tails or trimming ears, the regulation prohibiting cosmetic surgeries on domestic pets has finally been formulated into law.

The ministry explained that the 18-month waiting is to allow people and businesses time to adhere to the new regulations.

However, one rule that will come into effect sooner on August 25 is that newly licensed breeders will be limited to 50 animals. Some advocates of animal rights have voiced criticism over this legislation, contending that this new regulation ought to also apply to current operations.

In a statement, Sophie Gaillard of the Montreal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) expressed her displeasure. “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,” she said. Gaillard further added, “The measure has been diluted considerably.”