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$250, a bill to prohibit ear cropping in Vermont, passed the full Senate and now moves to the House for consideration. Dog owners are strongly urged to contact their Representatives immediately and ask them to oppose the bill!

What the Bill Does:

Under S250, owners who crop ears in Vermont will 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. S250 does not prohibit owning, showing, buying or selling a dog with cropped ears, nor does it prohibit licensed veterinarians from performing ear cropping procedures for “therapeutic purposes.” However, according to the bill, prevention of ear infections will not be considered therapeutic. S250 does not penalize owners if they have their dogs' ears cropped in another state where the practice is legal.

Vermont legislators indicate that they have received an overwhelming number of constituent comments in support of S250. It is clear they have not heard purebred dog owners' views. Please do not underestimate the importance of your voice – you can make a difference, and we need your help! Contact your Representative today!

Points to Consider:

  • The American Kennel Club strongly supports the humane care and treatment of all dogs. We recognize that ear cropping, as described in certain breed standards, is an acceptable practices integral to defining and preserving breed character and/or enhancing good health. Appropriate veterinary care should be provided.
  • Passage of S250 may set a precedent for all veterinary practices in the state of Vermont. 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.
  • Responsible dog owners and breeders, in close consultation with their veterinarians, should make informed decisions about their pets' health care – not the government.
  • S250 could create serious animal cruelty risks if owners who cannot obtain veterinary care for ear cropping procedures irresponsibly choose to seek less-qualified sources.

What You Can Do:

  • S250 has not yet been assigned to a committee in House. At this time, fanciers should immediately contact their Representatives and politely express their opposition to this bill. Find out who represents you in the Vermont State Legislature. Be sure to include your name and address in your correspondence to verify that you are a constituent.
  • 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 voice!

S250, a bill to prohibit ear cropping in Vermont, passed the full Senate and now moves to the House…