I’d like to do my bit and spread the good news. The Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, is currently debating banning the declawing of cats. This story comes from The Paw Project via the Coalition to Protect and Rescue Pets. My thanks to both of you.
What I particularly like about this story is that this is a countrywide ban that is being considered as opposed to city legislation etc. which has happened in America. And this is not just a case of creating legislation that loosely encompasses declawing. I appears to be a targeted ban on the operation of declawing cats – very specific. On that basis this seems to be a first. In the UK declawing is banned not by reference to the act of declawing but by reference to animal cruelty, which declawing is.
If the bill becomes law, it may be significant in the campaign to ban declawing in the USA. There are strong political links between the US and Israel. Billions of dollars are donated to Israel in defense funding. I wonder if a ban in Israel might show American legislators that it can be done nationwide.
There are two animal welfare/protection statutes (laws) in Israel: The Animal Welfare (Animal Protection) Law “The Animal Protection Law” and the Animal Welfare (Animal Experimentation) Law.
They were enacted (made into working law) in 1994. We can see, then, that Israel was a little slow in getting animal protection up and running. They are after all a full-blown developed country with all the facilities and social structures that are found in Europe and North America.
A weakness in the animal protection laws of Israel is that there appears to be poor enforcement generally, and little or no enforcement against producers of commercial foods (i.e. livestock are hardly protected).
Also having visited Israel and read one or two articles about feral cats in Israel there appears to be a less than sympathetic approach to dealing with feral cats humanely. Feral cats are abundant in this country.
Set against this background it is wonderful news that the parliament is debating a bill that would amend The Animal Welfare (Animal Protection) Law.
The bill was either introduced by Eitan Cabel or another Knesset member, Dr. Ahmad Tibi (a physician)1. It is not clear to me which person is responsible. Both are clearly very enlightened men and I for one thank them.
It would prohibit declawing for any reason other than the animal’s health. The proposed sentence on a successful conviction would apparently be three years in jail! That is probably a maximum and I would expect a fine to be added to that. Or it would be a fine and/or jail. We will see.
|Dr. Ahmad Tibi|
One member of the Knesset, Nissim Zeev, opposes the bill on the grounds that it would hurt veterinarians (in the pocket I presume he means). At least that is honest. In the USA they dodge the real reason and wheel out the tired old arguments about cats being abandoned unless they are declawed. This is emotional blackmail says The Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights (AVAR)
The bill is supported by the Agriculture Minister Orit Noked and it passed its preliminary reading 19-0. MK Zeev abstained.
Come on Israel show America the way….