Revisions to ear cropping, tail docking statement fail

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The AVMA Executive Board narrowly disapproved a recommendation from the Animal Welfare Committee revising the Association's ear cropping and tail docking position statement.

Committee members wanted to emphasize that ear cropping and tail docking should be performed only by licensed veterinarians within an appropriate time and using acceptable anesthesia and analgesia.

During the board's deliberations, Dr. Roger K. Mahr, District VI representative, explained that the Animal Welfare Committee also wanted to revise the statement to make a clear distinction between surgeries performed for cosmetic reasons and those performed for therapeutic purposes.

However, Dr. Thomas F. Meyer, House Advisory Committee chair, questioned the necessity of "wordsmithing" the position statement when the House of Delegates had approved it in July 1999 after a thorough review.

Dr. Bonnie V. Beaver, District VIII representative, agreed, saying that the board should leave the statement as it was originally approved since the HOD gave it careful consideration.

Board members were evenly split when voting for the revisions, however, and Executive Board Chair James H. Brandt cast the deciding vote against the recommendation.