Sanity Claws May Arrive a Bit Earlier In CaliforniaPublished November 5, 2009
Good "mews" for cats residing in several California cities! Yesterday the San Francisco Chronicle published the long hoped for announcement that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, with an overwhelming vote of 9-2 approved a proposed ban on the practice of declawing cats, unless it is for legitimate medical reasons. Supporting Council members referred to the procedure as a "barbaric practice". Supervisor Bevan Duffy spoke before the vote was taken saying, "This is important legislation to recognize that the de-clawing of cats is unnecessary, cruel and creates more problems than it solves." The two dissenting votes were cast by Supervisors Michela Alioto-Pier and Sean Elsbernd The legislation, written by Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, includes a provision that anyone violating the ban may be subject to a fine of up to $1,000, or up to six months in jail. Supervisor Mirkarimi said, "It is well documented that it is a form of torture, and animal cruelty." The ban now needs Mayor Newsom's signature, and due to the 9-2 margin it will withstand any veto attempt. West Hollywood already has a ban in place prohibiting the declawing of cats since 2003. On November 2, 2009, a key committee of the Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance banning the procedure, calling it animal cruelty. Councilmen Bill Rosendahl and Paul Koretz voiced the opinion that the surgery causes cats "unnecessary pain, anguish and permanent disability". A cat lover and owner himself, Councilman Rosendahl added, "Anyone who cannot handle the claws of a cat should not have a cat to begin with". Councilman Koretz in his capacity of lawmaker in Sacramento unsuccessfully tried to enact a statewide ban in 2003. However he was able to win the passage of a bill prohibiting the declawing of exotic animals, which of course, includes the "big" cats. On October 12, 2009 Santa Monica passed their ordinance banning cat declawing. On Tuesday night, November 3, Nancy Krasne, Mayor of Beverly Hills sent an email message to people who contacted her in support of their pending ordinance banning declawing in the city. It read, "We are banning this cat mutilation procedure in Beverly Hills, but on all animals.", and thanked them for their support. Even though Malibu recently rejected their pending ordinance, they are now discussing a city-wide resolution recognizing that it is an inhumane procedure. Declawing is illegal or considered grossly inhumane presently, in over 37 countries around the world as it is considered extreme cruelty to animals. Just think: the passage of these humane ordinances will even lead to a boost in California's economy. Over the lifetime of a pet cat, professional nail trimming provided by veterinary clinics far exceeds the cost of one declaw surgery. Couple this with sales of cardboard and sisal scratching posts nail clippers, plastic claw covers and attractive cat trees will fetch tidy revenue. If you wish to help, your supportive phone calls and emails are needed before Friday morning for Los Angeles. Please send "thank you "emails to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors as well. For further information visit The Paw Project at http://pawproject.org/ Personally, I am hoping that the rest of the country will soon follow in the footsteps of the courageous and forward thinking legislations which are being passed in these California cities. We must end the common practice of routine cat declawing. It is barbaric. Please share your thoughts about what is generally considered to be a controversial issue by leaving a comment.