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Members Encouraged to Submit Feedback Re: ABVMA Interpretation Document

On Thursday, July 4, CKC sent a notice in an effort to keep members informed on the changing Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA) policies in Alberta, continuing our efforts to advocate on behalf of CKC members since our first meeting with the ABVMA in January 2019. Since local issues can impact CKC members nationally, we are sharing this with all CKC members across Canada.
As part of the July 4 notice, CKC shared the ABVMA’s Interpretation Document that details specific scenarios meant to provide Alberta veterinary practices with clarity on the intersection of ABVMA’s two new policies regarding “Unnecessary Medical/Surgical Procedures” and the Mandatory Reporting of Animal Abuse and Neglect, effective July 1, 2019. 
Since the release of the Interpretation Document, CKC has been in contact with ABVMA to better understand and clarify the document.
Since last week, we have heard from many of our members with questions about the ABVMA’s new policies. CKC encourages members to submit questions and feedback related to the Interpretation Document
 as the ABVMA had previously indicated there may be changes made based on questions from ABVMA members and the public. Please submit your comments and concerns to Jocelyn at

Key points that may help CKC members formulate their questions to ABVMA: 

  1. ABVMA policy - Unnecessary Medical Procedures:
  • If a puppy with a docked tail or cropped ears is presented to the veterinarian, will the puppy buyer or breeder be investigated? This is not clear and open to interpretation. 
  • There are no explanations of what will happen if a breeder has a puppy’s tail docked or ears cropped in a place where it is legal. What about dogs that are imported into Alberta from other provinces or countries? 
  • Dogs, including CKC member-owned dogs, often travel to Alberta with their owners to vacation or participate in events. If the dog has cropped ears, a docked tail or dewclaws removed and requires veterinary care while in Alberta, how will these policies affect those owners? How will the ABVMA ensure that these owners are not discriminated against?
  1. ABVMA policy - Mandatory Reporting of Animal Abuse and Neglect and Addressing Animal Distress and Welfare Infractions:
  • Many of the scenarios presented by ABVMA are open to interpretation by veterinarians and may be misinterpreted, resulting in the infringement on veterinarians’ right to exercise autonomous professional judgment. How will the ABVMA ensure this does not happen? 
  1. ABVMA Vote:
  • How many of the ABVMA membership approved these policies? 
We appreciate that our members are dedicated and passionate. CKC reminds members to be polite in their feedback submissions. Well-crafted, respectful feedback will better warrant a reasonable response. The CKC is continuing to create relationships in order to be included in future decision-making processes. We suggest focusing feedback on the Interpretation Document and not the recently approved policies.  
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