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BC SPCA wants to end the devocalization of dogs – BC News

Prohibit “dogs coming down”: SPCA

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BC SPCA continues to oppose devocalization of dogs.

The Animal Agency has been vocal for its position for more than 20 years.

“Barking is normal dog behavior,” said Dr. Emilia Gordon, senior animal health manager at BC SPCA. “Devocalization deprives dogs of an important form of communication.”

Not only can this cause them significant stress, but devocalization also fails to address the root causes of dogs barking in the first place.

In some cases, says Dr. Gordon, dogs undergo surgery only to re-grow the tissues of their vocal cords and their ability to bark to return to near-normal levels. Even if the procedure is successful in reducing or preventing barking, dogs are at risk for complications, including:

  • Short-term: bleeding, swelling, infection, cough and suffocation
  • Long-term: chronic cough or blockage, aspiration pneumonia and narrowing of the airways and scarring that may lead to noisy breathing, respiratory distress, exercise intolerance, heat intolerance and collapse

According to the BC SPCA, the practice is banned in Alberta and Nova Scotia, and may soon be banned in Quebec.

Devocalization is also banned in the United Kingdom, the European Union, several US states, New Zealand and Australia.

Dr Gordon said veterinarians in British Columbia were very concerned about animal welfare and believed they would welcome the opportunity to lead the way.

“BC veterinarians have taken a collective stance on similar animal welfare issues in the past,” she said. “The decision by the British Columbia College of Veterinary Medicine to make the devocation of dogs an unethical practice in veterinary medicine would be a significant step forward in animal welfare in British Columbia.”

If disembarkation is no longer considered an acceptable practice by the CVBC, any person who performs the procedure and causes animal suffering may be charged with animal cruelty under the Animal Cruelty Prevention Act.

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