Debate over debarking is front page news

The New York Times takes on the controversial issue of debarking on its front page today.

The story looks at the growing movement of veterinary hospitals - and the American Veterinary Medical Association -away from the practice and the pressures on owners with vocal dogs - particularly in urban areas - to quiet them.

Gov. Rendell signed a bill last year making it illegal for anyone other than a licensed vet to debark a dog, or perform other surgical procedures such as C-sections.

The legislation was drafted after animal rescue groups provided ample evidence that some breeders had performed the procedure themselves, using crude implements - such as pipes - and causing extreme pain and often extensive damage to the animals' throats.