One of the most controversial issues for pet owners is the practice of declawing cats.
The surgical removal of a cat’s claws was once commonly done as a way to prevent scratches and furniture damage, but it has been increasingly viewed as painful and inhumane to cats.
More and more countries, states and cities have been enacting bans on declawing cats. And now, one major US city is set to join them after unanimously approving the measure.
On Tuesday, Pittsburgh City Council approved a legislation to ban declawing surgery in the city, except in cases of medical necessity. Vets performing the procedure would face a $500 fine under the new law.
According to CBS Pittsburgh, the law would make the city the first government in Pennsylvania to have a ban on declawing.
The new law is not yet a sure thing: still needs to be signed into law by Mayor Bill Peduto, and he hasn’t indicated whether or not he will do so. However, the bill received unanimous approval in the City Concil, and passed without discussion.
The law’s passing would be a win for animal rights activists who have long argued that declawing is inhumane. While many pet owners think it is a simple procedure to prevent scratches, it’s actually a complex, surgical amputation that can leave a cat with lasting pain and behavior problems.
“Declawing a cat does not just mean removing its nails,” said City Councilman Bobby Wilson, who introduced the legislation. “If this happened to a human, it would be like cutting off each finger and toe at the last knuckle.”
“The City of Pittsburgh should set an example as a humane city, both in southwest Pennsylvania and across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”
Many countries around the world have banned declawing, but it is still legal in most of the US. Individual states and cities have started to enact bans in recent years: New York enacted the first statewide ban in 2019, and major cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver and Austin have also adopted bans.
Hopefully, Pittsburgh will join that list soon, helping to put an end to this inhumane practice.
We’re glad this ban on declawing cats has been approved in Pittsburgh. We hope it goes into law soon, and more cities follow their example.
Share this news if you agree we should put an end to declawing cats!