Beverly Hills, L.A. Move to Ban Cat Declawing

The cities join others in California in making a push to outlaw the procedure.

Beverly Hills is the latest California city to push for an ordinance that would ban cat declawing. The City Council gave initial approval with a 5-0 vote Nov. 5. A second vote, scheduled for Nov. 17, is needed to get final approval.

In a preliminary action on Nov. 6, the Los Angeles City Council also voted unanimously to ban declawing. The council is expected to take final action on the ordinance Nov. 17.

Other California cities taking action on cat declawing include Santa Monica, San Francisco, Malibu and Berkeley, all trying to get such ordinances passed and enacted before Dec. 31. The push is to avoid Senate Bill 762, which takes effect Jan. 1. SB 762 was signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on July 2, and in short, will not allow cities and counties to pass ordinances to ban medical procedures.

The legislation, supported by the California Veterinary Medical Association, was in response to West Hollywood’s ban on the procedure, which the city passed in 2003. The CVMA contends that there should be a statewide uniformity of standards for medical professionals.

According to the CVMA’s position statement on cat declawing, “The decision to declaw a cat should be made by the owner in consultation with their veterinarian. The declawing of cats may become necessary for medical or behavioral reasons and should be used instead of abandonment or euthanasia.”

Anti-declawing groups such as The Paw Project claim that the procedure causes crippling effects and in the end provides no therapeutic benefit for the animal or cat owner.

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