AAHA position on tail and ear cosmetic surgery

AAHA Position

New AAHA position statement opposes cosmetic ear cropping, tail docking

Recently, the American Animal Hospital Association announced that it has revised its position on ear cropping and tail docking of pets and now opposes these surgical procedures when performed for cosmetic reasons alone.

Moreover, the AAHA supports laws requiring veterinarians to report suspected cases of animal abuse, as long as veterinarians are protected from liability.

The international organization of more than 29,000 veterinary care providers has also stated that the profession is responsible for contributing to solutions for reducing the number of healthy animals euthanatized annually.

These are among a number of new and amended animal welfare position statements the AAHA board of directors approved in October.

New position statements address declawing and canine devocalization, whereas the revised statements deal with animal abuse and reporting, euthanasia, and ear cropping and tail docking.

The AAHA Animal Welfare and Ethics Task Force drafted the statements in response to society’s increased focus on companion animal welfare. The task force “was appointed to prioritize and address issues that would provide leadership and timely guidance for the veterinary profession, related pet industries, and the public,” explained task force chair, Dr. Merry Crimi.

The revised ear cropping and tail docking position statement goes beyond the AAHA’s previous position, adopted in 1998, that advised veterinarians to inform clients about the risks of the surgeries, to oppose both the procedures when done solely for cosmetic reasons.

The AAHA encourages veterinarians to counsel and educate pet owners that these procedures should not be performed unless medically necessary, as well as encourages the elimination of these procedures from breed standards.

AAHA position statements are posted online at http://www.aahanet.org/About_aaha/About_Position.html

http://www.avma.org/onlnews/javma/dec03/031215e.asp<