The Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA) is opposed to any legislation, regulation, or lobbying efforts whose actions result in a mandate requiring the spay or neuter of privately owned animals. Castration (neuter) and ovariohysterectomy/hysterectomy (spay) are major surgical operations and affect the well-being of the animal for the duration of its lifespan. This should be an informed decision made by private individuals and not by any governmental agency.
Mandatory spay/neuter (MSN) legislation is promoted by groups (usually animal rights, but sometimes well-intentioned but ill-informed community groups) who believe it will cure shelter over-crowding and euthanasia, the abandonment of animals, and pet “over-population”.
- Low cost spay/neuter clinics available to the general public are much more effective than MSN legislation which unfairly targets lower income pet owners.
- MSN in no way addresses the problem of pet retention. The primary reasons for pets being surrendered to shelters are behavioral problems, health problems – of owner or animal, and lack of time. None of these are affected by MSN.
- There is a large and ever-growing body of scientific data indicating that the long-term effects of spay/neuter, and pediatric spay/neuter in particular, are not overwhelmingly beneficial to the animal – in fact, quite the contrary in many cases.
- In jurisdictions where MSN has been enacted, it has led to increased shelter intakes, increased costs for animal control, and reduced licensing compliance with a concomitant reduction in rabies vaccinations, a potentially serious public health issue.
Links to information on MSN
- http://www.nokillhouston.org/legislation/mandatory-spay-neuter-laws/ – No Kill Houston has a list of 18 articles on MSN.
- http://www.naiaonline.org/about-us/position-statements/mandatory-spay-neuter-legislation/ – NAIA’s position statement on MSN with references and bullet points.
Links to information on the health effects of spay/neuter procedures
- http://www.naiaonline.org/pdfs/LongTermHealthEffectsOfSpayNeuterInDogs.pdf – A significant article by Laura Sanborn reviewing the veterinary literature as of 2007 regarding the risks, benefits, and long term health effects of spay/neuter.
- http://www.dogcancerblog.com/blog/spayneuter-and-the-association-with-cancer-in-dogs-part-one/ – This is part 1, with links to parts 2 & 3. Written by a veterinary oncologist, it discusses the link between pediatric spay/neuter and the prevalence of aggressive cancers in dogs.