Nova Scotia veterinarians vote against motion to ban declawing

A June 18 vote within the Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association that could have paved the way for the banning of cat declawing in that region failed to gain enough support.

Thirty-four veterinarians voted against the ban while eight voted their support for it.

According to CBC News, Nova Scotia would have become the first jurisdiction in North America to outlaw the procedure if the ban had been instituted.

Hugh Chisholm, DVM, the veterinarian who put forth the motion, has previously referred to declawing as a "barbaric mutilation that does nothing to benefit the cat," as well as "an embarrassment to our profession" on CBC's radio program, CBC News reported. His firm stance against declawing is a departure from his early career, when he performed the surgery before stopping in the early 1990s.

Even before the vote, Chisholm said he had low expectations that it would pass because declawing has become such a common practice over the years.

"Veterinarians change slowly," Chisholm said. "Especially where this is something that's been done for so many years, that to suddenly stop doing something that's been widely accepted as an OK procedure, I think that's a tough pill for people to swallow."

Chisholm told the Chronicle Herald that although he is disappointed in the vote's outcome, he will continue to press the issue.