There should be a battle between animal guardian and veterinarian. One was recently played out in the government of NY State with respect to the proposed ban on devocalisation.
Is the reason why vets declaw cats, and devocalise dogs and cats in the United States:
- because the public, who own cats and dogs, demand it;
- because the vets encourage declawing and devocalising and go further by defending the practice against legislation that might ban both, or;
- a combination of vet and companion animal owner?
The general consensus is that these inherently cruel veterinary practices are due to a combination of owners who request it and vets who willingly do it for financial profit. There is an alliance.
Which is the senior party in the alliance?
The answer can probably be found in the outcome of the attempt to ban devocalisation in NY State. This failed.
The majority leader Skelos chose not to bring the devocalization ban to the Senate floor for a vote. Skelos’s decision was successfully swayed by the New York State Veterinary Medical Society (NYSVMS) who tirelessly lobbied the legislators to drop the bill to ban devocalisation.
On this basis we have to say that the veterinarians are in the driving seat. They create the culture and maintain it for the sake of business. The give devocalisation their seal of approval in NY State. That is a very strong message.
As Coalition to Protect and Rescue Pets (CPR Pets) says, it is down to the public to change their habits against the direct or indirect encouragement of the vets.
It is hard to go against the ‘professionals’. They have a standing in society and are meant to know better. It is up to individuals to think ‘out of the box’ and refuse to consider operations that are not for truly therapeutic purposes but for the convenience of the cat or dog’s owner. That will gradually take business away from the vets and make them realise that it is a service that should no longer be provided.
It is a question of each individual cat or dog owner making their own decisions on the subject and not following the crowd or convention.
Ruth Young, who wrote a recent article on rehabilitation therapy for dogs and cats says that the vet she knows, Dr. Gretchen Jaeger, D.V.M., who practices this therapy, does not like to declaw cats but does so on a request by a cat owner because if she refused the person would go elsewhere. She would lose business for no good reason. That is the argument.
I see the argument but disagree with it. You have to start somewhere. Someone has to change and the first people to do it will lose out as Jaegar says. But in the long run a vet refusing to declaw will lead to others following, resulting in change. Vets don’t think like that so, as I said, it is down to the public to make waves.