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To what extent is mutilation of pets for aesthetic or practical reasons unethical?

Tail docking, ear cropping, declawing, debarking, wing clipping, debeaking, dubbing and castration... what is your opinion on the matter? In many countries there is no restriction on animal mutilation. Should these practices be mostly banned, as in Europe? Or can they be considered ethical? Let us know!


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    Mar 4 2013: Are you including spaying and neutering animals?
    • Mar 4 2013: Yes, also known as castration. Do you have an opinion on the matter?
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        Mar 4 2013: I think it is fine to spay and neuter dogs and cats.

        In Luxembourg are you able to find loving homes for all the dogs and cats that appear in shelters or are abandoned?

        Here are the arguments that the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals suggests for spaying or neutering dogs and cats:

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        Mar 4 2013: Hi Manuel
        My understanding is that spaying and neutering differs from castration in the sense that castration refers to the removal of (the dog's) testicles (which of course would have the same outcome). I fully support neutering/spaying as any responsible person should. I haven't done enough research to know whether leaving a dog's testicles in tact would have any health benefits but I do know that "neuticles" are becoming quite common. Prosthetic dog testicles...
        To answer your question, I feel that altering an animal's body in any way should only be done for the sole purpose of benefitting the health of the animal. Never, ever for looks or human convenience. I remember when I was 16 years old my grandmother's dog had puppies. The lady who had asked to breed her dog with my grandmother's (that is another topic altogether...) came over soon after the precious little puppies were born. She didn't oooh or aaah over the tiny, perfect babies, she just went over and started PINCHING their little tails off with her bare hands. I was traumatized and screaming for her to stop. Then she acted like I was being dramatic and told me the pups couldn't even feel it. I was mortified and bewildered when I was told it was for aesthetic purposes. Humans can be so brainwashed into believing what they want to believe.
        I met a doberman puppy last year. He was the biggest sweetheart who would run to the fence and play with me through the chain link. Then one day he had bandages on both of his little ears. He didn't want to come to the fence to see me at all and was in obvious distress. When I called out to his owner she explained she had his ears "cropped" so he wouldn't look funny when he was older. I couldn't believe this is even legal. The confusing part was I knew she really loved him and cared about him.
        I definitely don't think this is ethical. I believe these are unconscionable acts of unnecessary cruelty.
        Thank you for asking such an important question.
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          Mar 4 2013: Lori, I totally agree with you. Only for their health's benefits, pets must be mutilated. We do not have right for doing it for other reasons. And I ask one quiestion: Would we like if our pets had the power to mutilate us because something of us would not like them?
        • Mar 4 2013: Hi Lori, thanks for your great input!

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