Association issues new position statements on declawing, canine devocalization

AAHA recently issued two new position statements, as well as revised three current position statements, addressing animal welfare and ethics issues coming to the forefront of the veterinary industry.

Drafted by the AAHA Animal Welfare and Ethics Task Force, the statements were approved by the AAHA Board of Directors at its October meeting.

The new statements address declawing and canine devocalization.

AAHA adopted the American Veterinary Medical Associations position statement on canine devocalization, recommending that devocalization only be performed by a licensed veterinarian as a final alternative after all behavioral modification efforts to correct excessive vocalization have failed.

Similarly, the Declawing Position Statement advises that declawing of domestic cats is not medically necessary and in most cases should be considered only after attempts have been made to prevent the cat from using its claws destructively, or when clawing presents a significant health risk for people within the household.

Changes were made to AAHAs current position statements on animal abuse and reporting, euthanasia, and ear cropping and tail docking.

"With our society focusing on companion animal welfare issues more than ever before, AAHA felt an urgent need for the profession to address these important issues," said Merry Crimi, DVM, AAHA Animal Welfare and Ethics Task Force Chair. "The AAHA Animal Welfare and Ethics 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."

Read the complete devocalization statement and declawing statement