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From 1 August 2004 Issue

Tell Governor Schwarzenegger You Support a Ban on Ear Cropping!

A ban on ear cropping has been incorporated into a funding bill (SB 1548) for the California Veterinary Medical Board. As part of that agency's funding, the board would be required to enforce the ban. Authored by Senator Liz Figueroa with assistance from the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights (AVAR), this bill makes it a misdemeanor for any person - veterinarian or otherwise - to crop the ears of a dog or to procure the cropping of a dog's ears, unless for therapeutic purposes.

While ear cropping is already banned in many European countries, such as Austria, Germany and the United Kingdom, this law would be the first ear cropping ban implemented in the United States.

The California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) supports the bill. Consider these important polling statistics, revealed during a recent poll of CVMA veterinarians:

* 74% think that veterinarians should not perform ear-cropping surgeries when there is no medical justification;

* 86% agreed that the procedure results in pain during the post-operative period; and

* 56% support legislation banning the practice.

If veterinarians, animal control authorities and animal welfare organizations are united in their support this ban, you may be wondering why its passage isn't secure.

The major opponent to this legislation is the American Kennel Club (AKC). Despite the fact that very few veterinarians in California are even willing to perform the surgery, the AKC continues to maintain the archaic policy that "ear cropping, as described in certain breed standards, is an acceptable practice integral to defining and preserving breed character and/or enhancing good health."

Due to pressure from the AKC and breeders, the Governor's Office has indicated that Governor Schwarzenegger will not sign SB 1548 with the ear-cropping ban included. Perhaps the Governor doesn't realize that this bill is important to the same constituency that reacted with outrage to his recent proposal to repeal the Hayden legislation.

What You Can Do:

Please write a polite support letter as soon as possible for SB 1548, specifically mentioning your support for the ear cropping ban, to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841, press 7
Fax: 916-445-4633

To send an email, visit: http://www.govmail.ca.gov 

Tell the Governor that:

* The sole purpose of these unnecessary surgeries is to alter the appearances of dogs for cosmetic reasons. Dogs often suffer from pain associated with the surgery, recovery and complications that can arise.

* Many dogs - especially those used in illegal dog-fighting - suffer tremendously from ear cropping done at home by kitchen scissors.

* This law would give animal control and police authorities the ability to prosecute people who engage in this cruel activity. It is also another tool to help identify those involved in dog-fighting.

* A veterinarian's primary responsibility should be the welfare of their patients rather than the aesthetic preferences of their guardians or to satisfy archaic standards imposed by breeding organizations.

Also, supporters are needed to attend the Assembly Appropriations hearing on August 4 in Sacramento. Please email pam @avar .org (close spaces)if you're able to attend.

Thank you for helping the animals! To keep up with current CA legislative action alerts, please bookmark www.uan.org.

Jennifer Fearing
Advocacy & Communications Director
United Animal Nations
PO Box 188890
Sacramento, CA 95818
916.429.2457 tel
916.429.2456 fax
jfearing@uan.org  (email)
www.uan.org  (web)

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