Stop! Read This Before Declawing Your Kitty

In a move designed to stem the rising tide of legislation passed by individual California cities outlawing medical procedures the state views as legal, the California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) sponsored SB 762, which took effect on January 1, 2010.

Specifically, SB 762 makes it illegal for local jurisdictions within the state “to prohibit a healing arts licensee from engaging in any act or performing any procedure that falls within the professionally recognized scope of practice of that licensee.”

According to the CVMA, the bill is designed “to ensure that approved medical procedures performed by all licensed health care practitioners, including physicians, dentists, and veterinarians, are consistent throughout the state of California.”

Although the scope of the bill is somewhat broad, the immediate purpose behind it was to halt city-by-city bans on declawing of domesticated cats.

The CVMA’s position:

“Veterinarians must be allowed to make qualified medical decisions in consultation with their clients and upon a proper exam and understanding of the pet’s home environment. This is the only way to provide the best course of treatment and assist the owner in making the best decision for their family pet.

That may include removing a cat’s claws in a humane manner with proper pain management to prevent that animal from being abandoned at a shelter, tossed out on the street or euthanized. Several cities have now criminalized appropriate medical treatment; an action that will end with the enactment of SB 762.”

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