The Montreal SPCA has launched an appeal to the Quebec Order of Veterinarians to ban the declawing of cats - a procedure they say is "cruel and unjustifiable"

On Tuesday, the organization started an online petition which garnered over 2,000 signatures in the first hour. 

The web page provides a number of infographics to illustrate the reality of the declawing procedure, like the one seen below: 

Cat declawing SPCA

(Graphic courtesy of Montreal SPCA)

According to the SPCA, 30 countries worldwide have already implemented a ban.

Last year, they were joined by Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island. Several other Canadian provinces are also in line to take a stand against declawing. 

In 2017, the Order of Quebec Veterinarians did ban a number of non-essential cosmetic procedures, such as ear cropping and docked tails on dogs, cats, cattle, or horses - a decision that didn't sit well with dog breeders. 

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Order said the declawing of cats is not medically necessary, can lead to complications, and affect an animal's overall wellbeing. 

However, they added that education for pet owners is a crucial step before proceeding with a legal ban.

"We want to better inform the public and support veterinarians in their efforts to raise awareness among their clients, which is why we launched [a campaign] which offers a series of communication tools that address this important animal welfare issue," Dr. Caroline Kilsdonk, President of the Quebec Order of Veterinarians, said in the statement.

Veterinarian Enid Stiles of the Sherwood Park Animal Hospital said she stopped declawing cats 17 years ago.

“This is completely unnecessary and unethical thing to do,” she said. “It's an amputation of the very top digit of the cat's claws, so it's actually a bony amputation called a partial digit amputation.”

Sophie Gaillard, the SPCA’s director of animal advocacy equated it to torture.

“That is the human equivalent of basically chopping off every single one of the end of my fingers and then having me walking on them the rest of my life,” she said.