The claws of a cat are a major part of the cat.
7th November 2009 GMT: "You take the claws out of a cat, you take away the cat". These are the words of Councilman Bill Rosendahl of the Los Angeles City Council. And he is so perfectly correct. This is the point that veterinarians have ignored and why they are gradually losing their autonomy to make their own decisions on treatments. Through their obviously improper actions they have thrown away the right to decide on all matters to do with their work.
The vets better beware because Los Angeles just banned declawing in a unanimous decision of the council. We hope this leads to more bans or better still a complete change in opinion about declawing.
The ordinance states that "no person, licensed medical professional or otherwise, shall perform or cause to be performed an onychectomy (declawing) or flexor tendonectomy procedure for any means on a cat or any other animal within the city, except when necessary for a therapeutic purpose." (note: people will have to watch the vets on how they try and wriggle around the qualifying clause at the end - this is not a complete ban).
The council members described it as an unnecessary practice and abject animal cruelty. Well yes, thank you council men and women for doing the right thing. It has taken a long time but we praise you for your courage to do the right thing, to take a leap into new territory.
In order for the veterinarians and their associations to take back control of their profession it would be sensible now if they banned it themselves (
for non-therapeutic purposes, but they will need to be regulated). It is really time to think new thoughts. To do things differently. To behave in a manner that is not in breach of their oath.
The California Veterinary Medical Association fought against the ban as they have done in the past through their spokesperson/president Dr. Nunez. His arguments are transparently wrong.
You take the claws out of a cat, you take away the cat is a phrase that supports my view that people who declaw don't want cats. They want a furry animal companion. So they take away the cat and replace him/her with a something different. And vets have supported this ill conceived approach for decades.
May the bans spread to the rest of the USA. Perhaps the Governor's prohibition on cities making such laws (by 1st Jan 2010) has galvanised them into acting promptly. It seems to have backfired on the veterinarian associations.