Basing on new assumptions

From the CBC news website
N.S veterinarians ban tail docking
Last Updated: Thursday, March 25, 2010 1:11 PM AT
Veterinarians in Nova Scotia will no longer cut the tails and ears of dogs for cosmetic reasons, prompting an outcry from some breeders.The Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association is forbidding its members from doing surgeries that alter an animal’s appearance solely for cosmetic purposes.
Veterinarians say docking a Doberman pinscher’s tail, for example, is unnecessary and cruel.
“In my opinion, Dobermans and Great Danes look great with their ears down and their long tails, so there’s no reason to mutilate them by causing them to meet an arbitrary breed characteristic that has been around for so long that we can’t remember why it’s been around in the first place,” said Dr. Frank Woodbury, a veterinarian in Halifax.
Mary Spinelli, a Doberman breeder in Dartmouth, disputes any suggestion that ear cropping and tail docking is cruel, and therefore can’t see any need for the new rules.
“There was no impetus from anybody in the dog community to say, ‘Please, consider this procedure,'” she said.
“These procedures have been performed for the better part of 100 years. They’re not new, they’re not revolutionary and, by and large, they’re not cruel. They’re done in proper conditions.”
Spinelli said a Doberman’s tail is removed when the animal is about two days old, while the ears are cropped at eight weeks.
She finds it hypocritical that the veterinary association is still allowing the declawing of cats.
“They have no qualms whatsoever about declawing cats, which is a far more invasive procedure done when the cat is significantly older,” she said.
The new rules go into effect on April 1, though they won’t be enforced until October. Similar bans on cosmetic surgeries are already in place in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.
Spinelli, a registered breeder with the Canadian Kennel Club, won’t crop the tails of her dogs herself. She said the procedure should only be done under safe and clean conditions, like with veterinarians.
Another Doberman owner, Lendra Barker, fears that some owners will do whatever it takes to get their dogs to conform to a certain look.
“The people who own these dogs want them performed and without a vet to be permitted to perform these procedures, where is it going to go? Some people that aren’t reputable may end up doing it themselves without the benefit of anesthesia or sanitary conditions,” said Barker, a past-president of the Doberman Pinscher Club of Canada.
Non-veterinarians who attempt the surgeries on their own could be charged under Nova Scotia’s Animal Protection Act.
Its not all that often I miss a story like that ( and before the keyboards catch on fire if I don’t devote a lot of time or space to anything, sometimes its simply because I choose NOT to empower certain people whose heads are already two sizes too large,eh? )
Why did I miss it? Yesterday I was working on the slide show that you see at the top of the blog sidebar. It has all of the dogs listed on Petfinder for NS and if I didn’t have time to edit every cats picture, there is still at least one cat for every dog.
So it simply fell through the cracks, between the time spent with that and going out and getting wet with the dogs: ))))
A few days ago, I was doing some research for a story I’m working on about an emaciated senior boxer who had a large litter of pups. Now, I’ve never shared space with a boxer, so of course the first place that I went for info was The Boxer Club of Canada site …. ( ) … where I learned that their Code of Ethics recommends that, wrt breeding, “Only bitches between the ages of eighteen months and six years and not more than once a year”
Along with all the wonderful information about boxers, there is a prominent link at the top of the front door for the K-9 Alliance, which proudly proclaims that it is ‘fighting misconceptions among the public and veterinarians about docking, ear cropping and dew claw removal” The site contains the information that there is an Alert for NS and urges its members to write their MLA’s. Sample letters are provided for user convenience.
Why did their campaign not work? Was it because the society has advocating for this? Was the decision based on the frontline experience of vets? Or all of the above?
It is always a mystery to me that reputable breed organizations are not at the front of the pack in advocating for mandatory breeder registration, breeding limit laws and decent minimum housing standards. Sadly, all these issues get sidestepped because of misinformation campaigns and scare tactics inspired by their strange bedfellow, PIJAC … “the voice of the Canadian Pet Industry”
Which .. in true Monty Python style, is no odder than the partnership between the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies and Kijiji : ((((
Twenty years ago, none of the marketing experts could have predicted there would be such changes in consumer buying patterns. Nobody worried where their children’s toys came from or whether their name brand clothes were being made in factories powered by child labour. Right up until the time the public stopped buying gas guzzling trucks, the former big three couldn’t imagine the consequences of opting for profit at the expense of environmental sustainability.
The internet has changed how we see .. and move .. in the world. Issues are more immediate and advocacy has taken a new personal note with far reaching impact.
The muscle cars of the sixties are still beautiful to anyone my age … but do we see them out and about now? Of course not. Their gas guzzling glory days are long gone and they are seldom seen outside of summer car shows.
Like the old sign in my laundry room, the breed associations and reputable breeders are at a crossroads where they can either lead, follow or get out of the way. If they want to play any meaningful part in the way foward, its time for them to revisit their ethical roots.
It would be a shame for the breed clubs to become the same kind of anarchism as a cherry red 64 GTO.
Most of our assumptions have outlived their uselessness.” Marshall McLuhan

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