Friday 17 July 2009

Oppose California Bill SB 762

Before I start and ask people to oppose California Bill SB 762, let me say that I am an outsider. I am not American. That has benefits and detriments. On the upside it means I am more likely to see the bigger picture, to stand back, to not be indoctrinated by tens of years of culture that considers that the declawing of cats is acceptable. And there are many millions of people in America who profess to love their cats and who believe that they do love their cats and yet assault them viciously in requesting that a veterinarian declaw them for non-therapeutic reasons.

On the downside it means I have to charter my way through a minefield of legislation that looks a bit odd. Why oppose California Bill SB 762?

The objective (or at least one of the objectives) of SB 762 seems to be to ensure uniform statewide governance of licensed professions. That is to prohibit cities or counties from restricting procedures that are licensed by the State Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA). In relation to the declawing of cats this bill seems to refer to (and be a reaction to) the West Hollywood declawing ban that was at first successfully challenged by the California Veterinary Medical Association; the decision then being overturn on appeal by the Court of Appeal who upheld the anti-declaw ordinance, which is the only one of its kind in the nation.

On the face of it, California Bill SB 762 would seem to be concerned with blocking any more cities and municipalities who are thinking about doing the same thing as the now famous West Hollywood. Yet:
It is important to note that this bill does not seek to undo the West Hollywood ordinance and includes a grandfathering clause that preserves the City of West Hollywood's 2003 anti-declawing ordinance. (quoted from website)
However, the bill would seem to be about preventing similar actions. Supporters of California Bill SB 762 say that:
....without legislation ensuring uniform statewide governance of licensed professions, professional standards will be dissimilar and discordant. (quoted from website)
The last argument, in my opinion completely misses the point. It is a very narrow argument. Any decision should be based on what is correct and proper. It is patently obvious that declawing is wrong and no matter how many weasel words or smoke screens that are used by veterinarians, it is right and proper to ban it through legislation at any level if the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) don't do their job and at least regulate the practice far more closely (or better still plain ban it).

On that sound footing it is argued that it is state legislation that is "discordant" and out of step with the city legislators who reflect the proper course of action. In short, the West Hollywood legislation is correct and the state should follow. This may sound like an extravagant thing to say but in the USA, the city of West Hollywood is at the forefront of much needed change. It is the beginning of change and that is why they are currently alone. If the state followed West Hollywood, there would be complete uniformity and the objective of this proposed legislation would be met. If state legislation tries to prevent cities doing the proper thing it will only cause future litigation and problems. And I call upon all those cities who are or have considered passing ordinances banning declawing to go ahead as this might disrupt things.

It seems that the only way to ban declawing (if the WVMA and other associations won't and it would be far easier if they did) is to do it piecemeal in small "bite sized pieces" and thereby chip away at it. This is because the bigger legislators are unprepared to do it probably because at the state level there is too many people pulling in different directions and it becomes unmanageable.

Another point of note is that not all vets are affiliated to the AVMA and that could lead to discordant regulations. Legislation would provide an umbrella of rules to ensure a uniform approach.

Opponents of California Bill SB 762 say:
...that local jurisdictions have the right to make specific decisions relating to professions and that the appellate court's decision should be upheld.
Yes, because it is the only way to get the job done of stopping the legalised yet criminal assault on innocent cat companions by unethical veterinarians who routinely recommend it against the interests of the patient, the cat and in breach of their oath. More to come. Any errors in this? Please leave a comment and it will be corrected.

Oppose California Bill SB 762 - See:

From Oppose California Bill SB 762 to Home Page


  1. Another brilliant blog, which I've posted the link to on our Claws group ! I don't understand legal stuff but I can't see any errors in what you say.
    You are right, while vets are still willing to declaw cats, the only way to stop them is by a ban !

  2. Hi thanks. We both hate declawing. Here is a link to your website:

    The Claws Connection


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