The City Council of Berkeley has once again passed a law that may have good intentions but little practical effect, the Oakland Tribune reports.
It has banned veterinarians within its borders from declawing cats. The city voted to make it a misdemeanor for any veterinary clinic to perform this practice. Someone caught doing it within city limits faces a $1,000 fine or six months in county jail. City council members and veterinarians called the practice horrific, inhumane, cruel, and similar to amputation. But a representative of the California Veterinary Medical Association, while agreeing that he doesn’t like to perform the procedure, said members are against the ban because it takes away a decision that should be left to the cat owner and his or her vet. This veterinarian, who spoke against the ban, is located in Hayward.
So, if you still want to get your cat declawed, I suppose you could take Fluffy to him. Or, to a vet in Oakland or even here in Walnut Creek.
The Tribune, citing a staff report to the Berkeley City Council, said:
Cat owners usually have one of two procedures done to remove their cat's claws to prevent the cat from clawing at personal property or causing minor personal injury.
One procedure is "10 separate painful amputations" called onychectomy where the "last bone of each toe is amputated," the report stated. In human terms that is "analogous to cutting off each finger at the last joint," the report added.
A second procedure for removing cats' claws, called a tendonectomy, removes a "portion of the flexor tendon in each of a cat's toes, thus preventing the cat from being able to extend the claws."
Both procedures can cause infection, abscess, hemorrhage, arthritis and "painful regrowth of deformed claws," the report said.