Domestic Cat ‘Mutilation’ Finally Banned In Nova Scotia

Now campaigners want a ban enforced nationwide
Scratching is completely natural behavior (Photo: Marko Blažević)

Nova Scotia will be the first Canadian province to ban the declawing of cats - effective from March 15, 2018.

'Declawing' refers to removing a cat's claws - generally because of concerns around scratching furniture, people, or other animals.

But experts say the term is a misnomer, and the practice is extremely cruel, describing it as 'mutilation'.

According to vet Dr. Tara Hudye: "You think you are just literally taking out the claw, but it’s not that way it’s a toe amputation."

Experts assert that scratching is normal and should be addressed with proper training, nail trimming, and tools like scratching posts - not amputation. 


Dr. Hugh Chisholm - who is a veterinarian and Director of Atlantic Canada’s branch of animal welfare organization, The Paw Projectv - put forward the motion to prohibit unnecessary declawing, and has refused to 'declaw' since the 1990s saying it doesn't benefit the animals.

He adds: "You are amputating 10 bones from 10 digits on the paws of a cat, and if that doesn't constitute mutilation, I don't know what does." 

In addition to the agony of the procedure itself, declawing can cause further complications - such as arthritis, behavioural changes and displaced bone fragments - for cats big and small.

'Barbaric amputation'

Chisholm says The Paw Project will now push to extend the ban - which was prompted by much of the general public, as well as animal activists, and veterinarians - nationwide.

This will follow examples set by the UK, Australia, and much of Europe.

He says: "When I explain what a declaw actually is, close to 95 percent of people actually say, 'oh my god! I would never do that to my cat'."


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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

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PBN Contributor:

Emily Court is a passionate ethical vegan from Eastern Canada. She is a Challenge 22 Mentor, Digital Writer, and experienced animal advocate driven by issues of animal liberation and social justice. She studied at Dalhousie University, where her thesis highlighted intercultural and gender relations. She is an established public speaker, writer, and world traveller with a drive to provide a voice to those who might not otherwise have one. You can follow her on Instagram @emily.j.court or on Twitter @_EmilyJCourt_.

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