Cosmetic surgery to alter the natural appearance of animals


Ratification Date: 03 Aug 2018


Surgical procedures performed on animals for purely cosmetic reasons, such as tail docking and ear cropping, are unacceptable under any circumstances.


Tail docking and ear cropping of dogs are illegal in all states and territories of Australia. There should be vigilance to ensure these practices are not occurring and that other possible cosmetic procedures do not become commonplace in the future. Performing any surgical procedure for other than legitimate medical reasons is unacceptable. Examples of these procedures include testicular prosthesis implantation in dogs and facial fold surgery purely for the show ring.


The veterinary profession should monitor trends and fashions that may influence or create demand for cosmetic surgical procedures in animals, and where these are identified, strongly advocate for their prohibition under legislation.

Date of ratification by the AVA Board: 03 August 2018