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Cropping (animal)

Cropping is the removal of part or all of the pinnae or auricles, the external visible flap of the ear, of an animal; it sometimes involves taping to make the ears pointy. Most commonly performed on dogs, it is an ancient practice that was once done for perceived health, practical or cosmetic reasons. In modern times, it is banned in many nations, but is still legal in a limited number of countries. Where permitted, it is seen only in certain breeds of dog such as the Pit bull, Miniature Pinscher, Doberman Pinscher, Schnauzer, Great Dane, Boxer, Caucasian Shepherd Dog and Beauceron.

The veterinary procedure is known as cosmetic otoplasty. Current veterinary science provides no medical or physical advantage to the animal from the procedure, leading to concerns over animal cruelty related to performing unnecessary surgery on the animals. In addition to the bans in place in countries around the world, it is described in some veterinary texts as "no longer considered ethical."

Cropping of large portions of the pinnae of other animals is rare, although the clipping of identifying shapes in the pinnae of , called earmarks, was common prior to the introduction of compulsory ear tags. Removal of portions of the ear of laboratory mice for identification, i.e. ear-notching, is still used. The practice of cropping for cosmetic purposes is rare in non-canines, although some selectively bred animals have naturally small ears which can be mistaken for cropping.

Ear cropping has been performed on dogs since ancient times.

Historically, cropping was performed on working dogs in order to decrease the risk of health complications, such as ear infections or hematomas. Crops were also performed on dogs that might need to fight, either while hunting animals that might fight back or while defending herds from predators, or because they were used for pit-fighting sports such as dogfighting or bear-baiting. The ears were an easy target for an opposing animal to grab or tear.

Country Status Ban/restriction date (if applicable)
Afghanistan Unrestricted
Argentina Unrestricted
Australia Banned
Austria Banned 1 January 2005
Belgium Banned
Bolivia Unrestricted
Brazil Banned for cosmetic purposes
Bulgaria Banned 2008
Canada Canada has no federal law banning pet cosmetic surgery. The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association opposes all cosmetic alterations. Two provinces have provincial legislation prohibiting ear cropping, tail docking, and most cosmetic surgeries: Prince Edward Island (☨1) and Newfoundland and Labrador (☨2).

Three province's veterinary associations ban all veterinarians from performing cosmetic surgeries on pets: New Brunswick (☨3), Nova Scotia (☨4), and Quebec (☨5)

Three provincial veterinary associations have bans on ear cropping alone: Manitoba (☨6), British Columbia, and Saskatchewan (☨8).

☨1: 10 July 2015. ☨2: 1978

☨3: 15 October 2008. ☨4: 1 April 2010. ☨5: 1 January 2017

☨6: 3 February 2012. ☨7: 2015. ☨8: 2013

Chile Unrestricted
Colombia Unclear
Costa Rica Unrestricted
Croatia Banned
Cyprus Banned 1993
Czech Republic Banned
Denmark Banned 1 June 1996
Egypt Unrestricted
England Banned 1899
Estonia Banned 2001
Finland Banned 1 July 1996
France Banned, except tail-docking 1 January 2010
Germany Banned 1 May 1992
Greece Banned 1992
Hungary Banned
Iceland Banned 2001
India Previously restricted, currently unrestricted
Indonesia Unrestricted
Ireland Banned
Israel Banned 2000
Italy Banned or unclear
Kuwait Unrestricted
Latvia Banned
Lebanon Unrestricted
Lithuania Banned
Luxembourg Banned 1991
Malaysia Unrestricted
Morocco Unrestricted - Morocco has no animal protection laws
Mauritius Unrestricted
Mexico Unrestricted
Nepal Unrestricted
Netherlands Banned 1 September 2001
New Zealand Banned 2004
Northern Ireland Banned 2011
Norway Banned 1987
Panama Unrestricted
Peru Unrestricted
Philippines Unrestricted
Poland Banned 1997
Portugal Banned
Romania Banned 2008
Russia Restricted
Scotland Banned 1899
Slovakia Banned 1 January 2003
Slovenia Banned April 2007
South Africa Banned June 2008
Spain Banned in autonomies of Catalonia and Andalucia
Sri Lanka Unrestricted
Sweden Banned 1989
Switzerland Banned 1997
Taiwan Unrestricted
United States Unrestricted (some states, including New York and Vermont, have considered bills to make the practice illegal) 2003
Virgin Islands Banned 2005
Wales Banned 1899



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