And I’m thinking if they’ll require it for dogs, they’ll just keep going up the food chain:
The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that a southern Oregon couple must quiet their incessantly barking dogs by sending them to the vet to have their voices surgically squelched.
The Appeals Court ruled “debarking” surgery is an appropriate solution to a noisy and relentless problem that neighbors living next to the dogs have had to endure for more than a decade on their rural property outside Grants Pass.
Apparently the dogs were, um, doing their job:
[Karen] Szewc told The Oregonian/OregonLive that efforts to silence her dogs have threatened her ability to run her farm.
“The dogs are my employees,” she said. “We do not have the dogs to harass the neighbors. We have the dogs to protect our sheep.”
The dogs bark, she said, when they sense predators, such as bears and cougars. She said agricultural properties generate farm noise — something her neighbors haven’t come to accept.
“The next line of defense is a gun. I don’t need to use a gun, if I can protect my sheep with dogs,” Szewc said. “This is a passive way of protecting livestock.”
Szewc and husband John Updegraff have 3.4 acres and previous negative experience with debarking: a cougar ran off with six lambs in a single week, she said, at a cost to them of $3,000. Also a cost to them: compensation for the plaintiffs down the road to the tune of $238,000.
The court’s opinion is here [pdf].