So-called “de-barking” surgeries for loud dogs would be outlawed in Michigan, as one part of a package of bills introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives last week.

House Bills 6029 through 6034 would make many changes, including requiring veterinarians to provide an informational brochure to patients about the risks and side effects of declawing a cat before performing the procedure, and preventing the ownership and sale of primates by private citizens.

There is also a bill that would allow the court to appoint an "animal advocate" to represent the interests of an animal victim in animal cruelty or abuse cases; that advocate would be either a lawyer or law student working pro-bono.

Two bills would make it a crime for veterinarians to perform a “devocalization” procedure on an animal unless it is deemed therapeutically necessary; the vet would then need to file a written statement with the state explaining why the procedure was performed. Devocalization, also called “de-barking” when performed on dogs, is a procedure where parts of the vocal cords are removed with the goal of making the animal quieter.

These and other animal law bills were introduced by several House Democrats last Thursday, and referred to committee. Links to all 5 bills are below.

HB 6029 (regarding pro-bono animal advocates)

HB 6030 (regarding vets informing patients of the risks of declawing a cat)

HB 6031 (regarding devocalization)

HB 6032 (regarding the ownership of "non-human primates")

HB 6033 (prevents local municipalities from banning the ownership of carrier pigeons)

HB 6034 (regarding devocalization)

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