New Bylaw Prohibits Veterinarians From Performing Ear Cropping Procedure

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Winnipeg, Tuesday, February 7, 2012  - On Friday, February 3rd, 2012, at its Annual General Meeting, the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) passed a bylaw stating Manitoba’s veterinarians are not permitted to perform ear cropping on dogs for cosmetic purposes.  The newly adopted Bylaw 31:  Ear Cropping states: “No member shall perform cosmetic ear cropping on a canine for the purpose of having the animal’s appearance conform to a breed standard or tradition.

Generally performed on puppies at around three months old, ear cropping is a surgical procedure that reshapes a dog’s ears by removing both skin and a cartilage core.  When removing this “floppy” part of a dog’s ear, known as the “pinna”, approximately one-half of the entire ear is removed.  Once the tissue is removed, a splint or bracket is used to help hold the ears while they heal in an upright position.

The MVMA believes this procedure is unnecessary in the canine species, causing pain and distress to the patient without any medical benefit. It should be noted that surgical alterations in cases of injury or for reasons of health are not considered cosmetic.

If a Manitoba veterinarian was found to be performing cosmetic ear cropping, they would initially be investigated for breach of Bylaw 31.  Then, if found in contravention, penalties could range from, a letter of reprimand to termination of their veterinary license in the province of Manitoba.

Though ear cropping was typically performed by veterinarians, dog breeders and owners often undertook amateur attempts of this procedure.  However, as with all veterinary surgical procedures, no one but a licensed veterinarian is permitted to perform veterinary medicine, as set out in the Veterinary Medical Act. If a lay person is found guilty of having performed surgical procedures on any animal (including canine ear cropping), it could be in contravention of this Act, and he or she would be subject to fines of ranging from $5000 for a first offense to $30,000 for a second offence.  He or she could also be charged under the Animal Care Act.

For more information on the ear cropping bylaw, or if you would like to set up an interview with a Manitoba veterinarian please contact Simone Gillies at 204 832 1285 or  To view the bylaws online please click here, or  select The MVMA from the top blue menu bar, then select Legislation and By-laws.

Click natural boxer and ear cropped boxer for photos available.
Photo Credits: The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA). 

Additional Information provieded by the (CVMA): Click here for an CVMA Canine Cosmentic Surgery Informational poster.  

Simone Gillies

Communications and Regulatory Associate 
p. 204.832.1285


Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association
6014 Roblin Boulevard
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3R 0H4
p. 204.832.1276
f. 204.832.1382

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