I love cat claws, please leave them alone...photo by Marcin Wichary (Flickr)
24th April 2010: I would like to discuss a couple of things to do with declawng cats, to keep abreast with what is going on. The first concerns HSUS.
Annie Bruce, the author of Cat Be Good, notified me and others of a redrafted position statement that HSUS has recently published on their website.
I forget what the earlier one said but it must have been 'qualified' meaning that it said that declawing shouldn't be done...but..a let out clause follows meaning they were not completely against it. A bit like the AVMA's statement perhaps but I am guessing.
Anyway the new one is much better. It is firm and unequivocal in its conclusion. Declawing they say is an unnecessary procedure. I hope they don't mind me quoting a couple of passages:
Declawing and tendonectomies should be reserved only for those rare cases in which a cat has a medical problem that would warrant such surgery, such as the need to remove cancerous nail bed tumors.
Declawing is an unnecessary surgery which provides no medical benefit to the cat. Educated pet parents can easily train their cats to use their claws in a manner that allows everyone in the household to live together happily.
HSUS make it clear that there are no grounds that support declawing a cat other than the very rare cases when it is for the cat's benefit, which is obviously the way it should be. To do it for our benefit to save furniture is nothing short of outrageous. Yet many millions of people actually find a way of justifying it! They are kidding themselves.
I cannot see any 'get out clauses' (or weasel words) in the HSUS statement so well done to them. I believe that the author of the HSUS statement is Nancy Peterson. If so well done, I say.
Changing their position statement might seem a small thing. However, I believe that these small steps are important. The journey to stopping the declawing of cats either through a nationwide ban or by cat caretakers abandoning the idea through a change in culture and education, will be a long and slow one.
Every little thing helps us to creep towards that light in the distance. The light of enlightenment when the people of America realise that it is quite simply wrong.
Here is a link to the chapter Nancy co-authored on declawing. It’s one of the things that she has written that she is most proud of and it won a CWA award. Indoor Cats, Scratching, and the Debate over Declawing: When Normal Pet Behavior Becomes a Problem
Here is the link to HSUS declawing position statement: Declawing Cats: Far Worse Than A Manicure.
Yes, I have to bring up the dreaded AVMA again. I thought in my naivety that they actually had some authority. But no. They are simply a shop window or a public relations agency for the veterinarians of the USA.
They have no authority to regulate their veterinarians. If they had they would be obliged to step in and stop their vets being in blatant breach of their declaw guidelines, and worse still their oath, the very foundation upon which the entire profession is built.
How is it that this association has no authority? Why bother having the AVMA if all they are is impotent limp wristed promoters of animal abuse.
The AVMA is probably just a business. A business that supports the people who run the AVMA. It probably serves no other real purpose. Although they might say that their role is to help their members in their work. In short they are are 'representative body'.
Well, in my opinion they should be much more. It shows the disdain we have for our companion animals (despite professing to love them) when their is no control over the vets who abuse their position in society by performing unnecessary surgery on cats to their detriment.
Medical associations that govern doctors have a lot of powers. They can ban a doctor from working in the profession if misconduct has been found.
Is it not time that the same powers are bestowed upon the veterinarian associations? It would demonstrate a true concern for our companion animals rather than paying lip service to it.
An alternative route to banning declawing would be to create legislation that:
- gave powers to the existing associations to regulate veterinarians and...
- Placed an obligation upon the associations to regulate veterinarians to a defined standard
This would be a form of delegation from government to the veterinarians to self-regulate. If they failed to self-regulate properly the role would be taken over by government.
It is astonishing that the vets are in effect unregulated. Is this true? Am I missing something?
It is time for change.