Acta Vet. Brno 2012, 81: 83-88

A comparison of laws preventing unnecessary canine cosmetic surgery in Italy and in the Czech Republic

Valeria Quartarone1, Eva Voslářová2, Maria Russo1, Petra Doleželová2, Annamaria Passantino1

1Department of Veterinary Public Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Messina, Polo Universitario Annunziata, Messina, Italy
2Department of Veterinary Public Health and Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene and Ecology, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Czech Republic

Many invasive procedures, including surgery (ear cropping, tail docking, and debarking in the dog), are performed on dogs for purely cosmetic reasons or convenience. These procedures, also known as “cosmetic surgery”, fall into a variety of categories from the questionably unethical to the undoubtedly criminal, because they are mostly carried out solely to alter a dog’s physical appearance. Although in several European countries these procedures are banned, except when performed by a veterinarian for medical reasons, veterinarians are often requested to perform them for various reasons. Though controversial, canine cosmetic surgery continues to be performed, reaching epidemic proportions. The authors summarize legislation, individual positions and veterinary attitudes regarding cosmetic surgery in Italy and the Czech Republic. Additionally, they explain the ways in which the law is being used in the two countries to prevent these unnecessary procedures, and how current and future anti-cruelty laws can stop unethical use of cosmetic surgery.


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