Cat declawing ban passes unanimously in Denver

SEPTEMBER 7 A cat rests in his carrier at Cat Care Society in Lakewood, Colorado

Denver cat-declawing ban, facing vote tonight, is poised to become first in a US city outside California

The city of Denver officially banned the practice of cat declawing during Monday night's council meeting.

The council unanimously approved a first reading of the ban, 11-0, last week.

If the bill passes, it will become illegal to declaw cats in the city.

But as the council has considered the ordinance, sponsored by Councilwoman Kendra Black, it also has been met with some pushback from owners who say the pain they observe in their pets is temporary.

Declawing occurs in a procedure known as onychectomy.

Kirsten Butler, a veterinary technician, said she no longer participates in the procedures.

"A decision to declaw a cat is affected by many human and animal factors", Andre said at a public hearing November 6. The Colorado Veterinary Medical Association opposed the bill, somewhat surprisingly, saying it was an issue that should be left up to cat owners and their pets' doctors.

Eight California cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, have passed prohibitions of elective declawing since 2003.

Denver is the first city outside of California to enforce a declawing ban.

Declawing, or onychectomy, is an amputation and should be regarded as a major surgery, according to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation. Australia, Japan, Brazil, Israel and multiple countries in Europe also have similar bans.

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