The Quebec government has enacted a Regulation that will ban non-essential cosmetic procedures on companion animals from 2024. The Regulation Respecting the Welfare and Safety of Domestic Animals and Equines was published on 10th August 2022 and is a consequence of the Animal Welfare and Safety Act 2021. It will ban mutilations of companion animals, including cat declawing, tail docking, ear cropping, and debarking. The animals protected include dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, and companion pigs.
Other Canadian provinces, several US states, and many countries have also banned similar surgical interventions, but, unfortunately, Ontario has yet to do so. In a statement, Animal Justice lawyers said will encourage Canada’s largest province to follow Quebec’s lead and they will keep pushing for a national ban on cruel and unnecessary cosmetic procedures on companion animals.
The Regulation establishes new requirements for the type of shelter that can be used to house companion animals, as well as the cleanliness of shelters, with mandated frequent disinfecting and cleaning. Enrichment requirements are also now explicitly set out for the animals covered by the regulation, as well as rules for their custody and care. Euthanasia by inhalation will also be banned. A breeder will only be allowed to keep up to 50 cats or dogs, but, surprisingly, this will only affect new permit holders, not those breeders who already have too many animals.
André Lamontagne, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of Quebec, said, “The publication of the Regulation is a big step for the protection of animals in Quebec. With the new measures in place, including the ban on cosmetic surgeries and the improvement of the conditions for keeping pets and equines, better supervision of animals can be done, regardless of the place of care. We act proactively to promote their well-being. I encourage all pet guardians and owners to constantly be at the forefront of best practices for the benefit of our pets.”