Animal Advocates

YAY! Denver Moves One Step Closer to Outlawing Declawing

To the sound of applause from the crowd in attendance, the Denver City Council on Wednesday advanced a measure that would outlaw the practice of declawing cats unless deemed medically necessary.

Leaders from the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association formally opposed Councilwoman Kendra Black’s proposed ban, saying it, “oversimplifies complex decision-making” by medical professionals and cat owners.” However, the council heard overwhelming support of the ban from animal lovers, cat owners, rescue organizations, and some veterinarians who won’t perform the procedure they believe to be cruel and unnecessary. Two people spoke in opposition of the ban while 14 signed up to speak in favor of it, and six got the chance to actually speak.

So, the City Council voted unanimously to advance the measure. And they were met with applause.

While declawing has been banned in some California cities (like Los Angeles) since 2003, this would be the first one outside the state of California. And, we hope, open the door wide open for other cities and states to follow. Similar bans have been attempted in New York and New Jersey, but have not been able to pass. The practice of declawing is considered cruel and inhumane and has been banned in many countries in Europe for a long time.

Denver’s declaw ban would provide an exemption when a declawing procedure is deemed to be medically necessary and only if it’s performed by a licensed veterinarian, with anesthesia used.

As for the timing? This should happen pretty quickly. The full council likely will introduce the proposed ban November 6 and could cast a final vote November 13.

Paws need claws. Make us proud, Denver!

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