Ear Cropping Is Illegal In Most Countries, But Not In The U.S.
Ear cropping is an elective surgery currently implemented in approximately 20 dog breeds, including Dobermans, Great Danes, Boxers and more. According to Tier 1 Veterinary Medical Center, this procedure can involve the surgical removal of most to all of the flappy portion of the ear.
Contrary to popular misconception, ear cropping does not improve a dog’s hearing or prevent ear infections, American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reports.
“Most of these historical reasons have been disproved (improving hearing and preventing ear infections) or are no longer applicable today,” Tier 1 reports. “Dogs of war have been predominantly shifted to the shepherd family, including malinois, GSDs, and Dutch shepherds whose ears generally stand naturally. Dogfighting is illegal, and the most common dogs used for hunting and chasing down prey are hounds whose long ears serve an important role in scent trailing.”
Scientific research shows that at least 80% of dogs won’t get ear infections, “and the breeds that are most likely to get them, such as cocker spaniels and poodles, don’t get their ears docked,” says Emily Patterson-Kane, PhD, an animal welfare scientist at the AVMA.
Ear-cropping causes pain and distress to dogs. As with all surgical procedures, it is also accompanied by inherent risks of anesthesia, blood loss, and infection, while providing no welfare or medical benefit to the animal.
According to the British Veterinary Association, dogs that have had their ears cropped can wind up suffering from severe ear infections that lead to permanent damage. In some cases, a dog may be in such great pain that they require a specialized procedure to remove the entire ear canal.
The practice of surgically cutting a puppy’s ears is now considered largely cosmetic and has been banned in most countries, The Spruce Pets reports. However, it is still forced on certain breeds, including pitbulls, in an effort to make the dogs appear tougher and more aggressive.
Not only is ear cropping inhumane, but it has helped to propagate the stereotype that pitbulls are dangerous animals.
Ear cropping is illegal in England and Wales, under Section 5 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, the RSPCA reports. It is still legal in most of North America.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) currently supports ear cropping in order to maintain the standards of appearance for certain breeds, but the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Animal Hospital Association oppose it.
Sign the petition, oppose the practice of ear cropping dogs when done solely for cosmetic purposes, and encourage the elimination of ear cropping from breed standards.