A major step towards improving animal rights in Canada was achieved yesterday. Declawing will no longer an option in another Canadian province. Following a vote, Manitoba is  banning cat declawing and people are overjoyed. It is now the sixth province in the country to ban the practice. 

Veterinarians in Manitoba recently voted against banning the practice of declawing a cat without a medical reason. The vote, took place over several days and officially ended yesterday on May 29, 2019. It revealed that an overwhelming majority of vets wanted to ban the practice. 

According to CBC, 77% were in favour of a bylaw banning the practice, with 23% opposing. The Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) posted on Facebook about the successful vote.

Other provinces include Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, British Columbia, and Newfoundland and Labrador; which banned it in March of this year.

This procedure has been debated amongst veterinarians and cat owners for quite some time. The procedure works by amputating the first joint of a cat’s toe. According to the Humane Society website, this would be the equivalent of cutting off each finger at the last knuckle.

Since it has become a widely discussed topic, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association issued a report back in 2017 calling the practice “ethically unacceptable” especially when pet owners did not consider alternatives.

The association found that scratching was a normal cat behaviour and they offered positive alternatives to declawing, including nail trimming, scratching posts, and plastic covers over the cat’s nails.

Since the announcement was made on the MVMA Facebook page, an overwhelming majority of cat and animal lovers are overjoyed. Many are thinking that this move is wonderful, and long overdue. 

The ban will not take effect immediately. Some Canadian provinces still allow cat declawing, but it is typically up to the discretion of the vet. However, in places like Manitoba, it’s best to just get a scratching post. 

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