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Banfield discontinues cosmetic ear cropping, tail docking

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Jul 27, 2009
By dvm360.com staff
Portland, Ore. -- Banfield, The Pet Hospital will discontinue ear cropping and tail docking surgeries, the company reports today.

Banfield's decision follows an extensive review and subsequent approval by its Medical Standards Board, which is described as an internal panel of experienced veterinarians responsible for evaluating all medical standards and procedures.

In July, heated discussion about cosmetic surgeries erupted at the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) meeting in Seattle where its governing body reaffirmed its position against ear cropping and tail docking.

"After thoughtful consideration and reviewing medical research, we have determined it is in the best interest of the pets we treat, as well as the overall practice, to discontinue performing these unnecessary cosmetic procedures," explains Karen Faunt, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, vice president for medical quality advancement for Banfield. "It is our hope that this new medical protocol will help reduce, and eventually eliminate, these cosmetic procedures altogether," Faunt adds in a prepared statement released today.

"Banfield’s approach to veterinary medicine focuses on procedures and services that are proven to benefit the health and wellness of a pet," says Karen Johnson, DVM, vice president and client advocate for Banfield. "While we do not support unnecessary cosmetic procedures, we will continue to perform tail amputations and ear surgeries for our patients as deemed medically necessary."