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VT Considers Ban on Ear Cropping

(Wednesday, January 04, 2006)
Sen. Ann Cummings has introduced S250, a bill to prohibit ear cropping in Vermont. Violators would face a civil penalty of up to $3,000 for a first offense. Those who commit subsequent violations or who perform the procedure without anesthesia would face criminal charges. The bill does not prohibit owning, showing, buying or selling a dog with cropped ears. Licensed veterinarians would be permitted to perform ear cropping procedures only for "therapeutic purposes." According to S250, prevention of ear infections will not be considered therapeutic.

Points to Consider:
  • The American Kennel Club strongly supports the humane care and treatment of all dogs. We believe 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. Appropriate veterinary care should be provided.
  • Responsible dog owners and breeders, in close consultation with their veterinarians, should make informed decisions about their pets' health care - not the government.
  • Once legislators determine they can ban certain elective procedures, they may be just a short step away from removing veterinarians' and owners' rights to make informed decisions about animal care and treatment.
What You Can Do:
  • S250 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary. Fanciers should immediately contact the committee members below to express your concerns with this bill. Your voice is especially important if one of your Senators sits on this committee. Find out who represents you in the Vermont State Legislature.
Senate Judiciary Committee
State Capitol
115 State St
Montpelier, VT 05602
Phone: 802/828-2231

Sen. Richard W. Sears (D) [Chair] Phone:802/828-2228, Email: rsears@leg.state.vt.us
Sen. John Campbell (D) [Vice Chair] Phone:802/828-2228, Email: jcampbell@leg.state.vt.us
Sen. Ann Cummings (D) [Sponsor] Phone:802/828-2228, Email: acummings@leg.state.vt.us
Sen. Ed Flanagan (D) Phone:802/828-2228, Email: EFlanagan@leg.state.vt.us
Sen. James P. Leddy (D) Phone:802/828-2228, Email: jleddy@leg.state.vt.us
Sen. Wendy Wilton (R) Phone:802/828-2228, Email: WWilton@leg.state.vt.us
  • Purebred dog owners should also contact their veterinarians and urge them not to support S250. Point out that veterinarians should be concerned about allowing the government and public opinion too much control over their practices.
  • Share this information with other fanciers and dog clubs. We need everyone's help!
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