Declawing Banned in Another Canadian Province

Declawing termed unethical and banned in Canadian province.

The procedure of declawing pet cats is already illegal in some cities in California, Australia, the UK, and the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. Now, the College of Veterinarians of British Columbia (CVBC) has banned declawing in that Canadian province.

The College of Veterinarians of British Columbia (CVBC) Bans Declawing

The CVBC is an organization that exists to ensure that veterinarians in British Columbia practice medicine ethically and competently (CVBC Mandate, n.d.). The CVBC sets and enforces standards of care that must be met by those practicing veterinary medicine in British Columbia.

On May 4, 2018, the CVBC banned declawing cats in British Columbia except for in certain situations when it is deemed medically necessary. Their statement specifically decreed that there are no medical or environmental conditions affecting a human that make declawing a cat ethical. That means that declawing a cat because he or she scratches humans or household items is unethical.

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association already held the stance that declawing cats is unethical and inhumane, but that body has no regulating power over veterinarians. The CVBC's ban brings that province in line with the Veterinary Medical Association but with regulatory power behind it. The ban statement specifically states that veterinarians who declaw cats will be investigated.

Why Are Declaw Surgeries Unethical?

A declaw surgery is the amputation of a cat's toes at their first joints. It's excruciating for the cat, both in the short and long terms. It can lead to behavior problems and chronic lameness. The surgery also carries a high risk of side effects like infection and incisions breaking open.

Declaw surgery is considered unethical because it is a physically and psychologically painful procedure from which there is no benefit for the cat. The benefits associated with declawing are all strictly for humans.

What Are Some Ethical Ways of Dealing with Cat Scratching?

The CVBC's position—and that of and many other pet welfare organizations and governing bodies—is that declawing cats to deal with behavioral issues like scratching household items is unethical. Instead, cat scratching can be treated by one or all of the following humane and ethical methods:

  • Behavior training, during which the cat is taught which items in the home—mainly scratching posts—are appropriate to scratch and which aren't.
  • Train your cat to use a scratching post. This article provides an easy-to-follow method to train your cat or kitten to use a scratching post.
  • Using claw caps to cover a cat's claws, so they are less able to do damage to people and belongings. These caps are non-painful for cats, don't interfere with retraction and extension of their claws, can stay on for four to six weeks at a time, and are an affordable and ethical way to combat cat scratching.
  • The use of Feliway diffusers or spray can help a cat that is feeling stressed calm down and be less likely to scratch inappropriately. You can learn more here: "Fighting Feline Stress with Feliway." applauds the CVBC and its stance on declawing in British Columbia. We encourage other organizations and governing bodies to work toward banning this harmful, unethical practice everywhere. Take a look at this article to see how you can help: "How to Fight Declawing in Your Town."


  1. CVBC Mandate. (n.d.). Retrieved from
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