B.C. SPCA calls for ban on dog debarking | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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B.C. SPCA calls for ban on dog debarking

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The B.C. SPCA is calling on the College of Veterinarians of British Columbia to enact a similar ban on dog debarking following recent victories ending the practices of declawing in cats and ear cropping and tail docking in dogs.

Devocalization, commonly referred to as debarking, involves partially or fully removing a dog’s vocal cords to muffle or eliminate barking. The surgery is performed by accessing the tissues through the mouth or directly through the larynx.

For more than two decades, the non-profit has opposed devocalization because it impacts a dog’s ability to experience good welfare and express natural behaviours.

“Barking is normal canine behaviour,” says Dr. Emilia Gordon, senior manager of animal health for the BC SPCA, in a press release issued by the non-profit. “Devocalization deprives dogs of an important form of communication.” 

In some cases, Gordon says, dogs are put through the surgery only to have their vocal cord tissues re-grow and their ability to bark return to near-normal levels.

Even if the procedure is successful at reducing or preventing barking, dogs are at risk of complications, including: bleeding, swelling, infection, coughing and gagging, as well as long-term chronic coughing or gagging, aspiration pneumonia, and airway narrowing and scarring, which can lead to noisy breathing, respiratory distress, exercise intolerance, heat intolerance and collapse, according to the SPCA.

The practice has been banned in both Alberta and Nova Scotia, and may soon be banned in Quebec as well. Devocalization is also prohibited in places such as the United Kingdom, the European Union, several American states, New Zealand and Australia.

The B.C. SPCA in asking the College of Veterinarians to enact a bylaw ban on canine devocalization before their meeting on Friday, April 29.

 


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