Stop Declawing in California

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Californians concerned about the welfare of animals thank California Assemblymember Bill Quirk, PhD for introducing legislation which would have prohibited the unnecessary and harmful practice of declawing in California. The Animal Protection Bill did not pass its committee hearing on April 23, and becomes a two-year bill.  The Paw Project continues to support anti-declaw legislation in California and in several other states and provinces.

Declawing is amputation, whether performed by scalpel, clippers, or laser. We believe there is never a reason to declaw for non-therapeutic reasons (that is, unless surgery were necessary to treat animals' medical conditions).  Declawing does not keep cats in homes, a fact acknowledged by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP).   Eight cities in California - Los Angeles, San Francisco, West Hollywood, Burbank, Santa Monica, Berkeley, Beverly Hills, and Culver City - plus the City and County of Denver, Colorado have enacted declaw bans.  Statistics available from those cities indicate that the relinquishment of cats to shelters in those cities, in the years since the bans were enacted, has not increased - in fact, the number of cats dumped in shelters has DECREASED consistently in the years since the laws went into effect.

There is no reason to declaw cats to protect human health.  The NIH, CDC, US Public Health Service, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the Canadian Medical Association, all have specifically stated that the declawing is "not advised," even for the animals of persons who are severely immunocompromised, including those with HIV.  This opinion is echoed in statements on declawing published by the AAHA and the AAFP. 

The Paw Project and the signatories of this petition hope a California bill will be a model for humane legislation in other states.