The good veterinarians must speak out. What I mean is that the veterinarians in America who do see the cruelty in declawing cats and who do not carry out the operation need to provide courses and educational seminars for the public about declawing.
I don’t see this happening. I can understand why. It is totally understandable. They are in the minority and they might (probably would) alienate other vets. They might become outsiders in their own profession.
See lots more articles on why declawing is fundamentally wrong: Declawing Cats
And it is far better financially speaking to remain inside the group. But and this is a massive but, the good veterinarians who don’t speak out and try in a decent way to stop declawing, are undermining their own consciences. Indirectly, they are condoning it. In regards to such a profoundly abusive medical procedure as non-therapeutic declawing of cats the good and enlightened veterinarians who genuinely have the care of animals at heart (unlike the monsters who declaw) owe a duty to their patients to speak out.
This could, for example, take the form of giving seminars. Why not? The vet could charge a modest fee and present the facts about declawing to owners who were thinking of declawing their cats. There must be a large number of people who are unsure about it who simply need some clear guidance.
There is a lot of misinformation out there and very little really good research. All the vet has to do is to present the known facts, which can be summarised as follows:
Declawing is unnecessary. There is lots of evidence that tells us it can cause serious medical complications but we need further sound and objective research. Because of the real potential to cause short and long term complications that are unpredictable for any individual cat a vet should not carry out the procedure. The better course of action is to respect the cat for what he or she is and adapt to the cat’s behaviour and enjoy that behaviour. If that cannot be contemplated another animal as a companion should be chosen.
It a few hundred vets started educating the public about declawing by telling the truth (I am not asking vets to do what the AVMA does and peddle half truths and misrepresentations) then the gradual change away from this hideous practice would begin.
In lieu of that the only force for change can come from legislators who ban declawing at the local level - for example the West Hollywood ban. Come on good veterinarians you must speak out. The cat is looking to you for help.