Culver City Observer
December 10, 2009
Declaw Ban Passes in Culver City
Kudos to the Culver City’s Mayor and City Council for standing up and being counted as a city where humane treatment of animals prevails. Culver City joins the ground swell of cities that have declared that declawing animals is inhumane and unnecessary.
This is a landmark decision that has been made by the great politicians of our local governments including all 14 City Council members of Los Angeles, all five from Beverly Hills, six from Santa Monica. And now, each of the five City Councilmen of Culver City can hold his head high because he has chosen compassion for animals as the direction that the City will take.
Mayor Andy Weissman thought he would allow people with illnesses to declaw their cats, but I believe he realized this would be an exception that would swallow the rule. It doesn’t take much of an imagination to see that some people could walk into a vet’s office and say they needed their poor little cat declawed because, “Aunt Tille is coming in from Peoria next weekend and she is afraid of getting scratched because of her diabetes, or “Roberta, my second cousin from Duluth, has a layover at LAX for six hours. She’s coming over so she doesn’t have to wait in the airport and she’s on blood thinners, so please declaw Fluffy before she gets here.”
As ridiculous as those two scenarios sound, they both would be absolutely allowed by the law if it had been amended as the Mayor had proposed.
Even more ridiculous is that veterinarians even suggest that declawing a cat is necessary to protect human patients. Declawing does nothing but give people a false sense of security. Declawed cats bite more often because they have been robbed of their primary defense and bite wounds are almost always treated by a trip to the hospital.
Public health organizations and infectious disease physicians don’t recommend declawing for the cats of immunocompromised people, and they’re the ones who should be making recommendations for human patients anyway. Veterinarians are not allowed to prescribe or recommend treatments for humans.
I am very grateful that the entire City Council unanimously supported the ban and left the only exception that makes any sense, that a cat can have a toe bone removed (effectively declawing the cat) if the cat has a cancer in that toe, for example. This pathology is readily proven. Any other change or exemption in the ordinance will make the law unenforceable because it would be self-reporting and therefore impossible to control.