Campaigning against Declawing Is a Waste of Time Says a British Vet

Yesterday, I visited my veterinarian because Charlie, my cat, has a bacterial infection in his sinuses and nose. It is a form of persistent rhinitis. Anyway that is not the topic that I wish to discuss in this very short post. While I was in there with my cat I asked my veterinarian if he would let me ask a question about cat declawing in America and he kindly agreed.

I asked him why the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), the governing body of British veterinarians, did not openly speak out against the declawing of cats in America as a way of putting pressure upon their counterpart organisation, the American Veterinary Medical Association. I have felt that if British veterinarians denounced declawing it may put some useful pressure on American veterinarians and support the campaign against it.

My veterinarian stated that it was unethical to declaw cats and he remarked that it is banned in the UK. He also said that he didn't like the other non-therapeutic operations that American veterinarian sometimes carried out on cats and dogs such as tail docking and the clipping of ears for aesthetic reasons.

However, despite his dislike of declawing he said it was a waste of time to write about it, argue against it and campaign against it because it is too well-established in the USA and whatever happened in the campaign against declawing, American veterinarians would not change their ways.

For this reason he said that it was not worthwhile to campaign against it.  I understood his message but I found it depressing. I'm not sure whether his thoughts about the anti-declaw campaign are typical of all British veterinarians but they might well be. There is a sense of disinterest or resignation about the declawing of cats in America by British veterinarians, it appears to me. It almost seems as if it is accepted by them notwithstanding that it is unethical as my veterinarian admitted.

One word: Sad.

Comments

  1. Oh what a gloomy view your vet has but I don't think we are wasting our time Michael! Maybe we won't get declawing banned but we are saving claws all the time we are educating and we can hope that eventually declawing will die a natural death as more people know the truth about the cruelty of it. I think the Paw Project vets are finding enough scientific evidence of the consequences of declawing to cats and as they make it public it will show up the greedy heartless declawing vets for what they are...animal abusers! I intend to keep on with our quest until I breathe my last breath on this earth ;) Ruth aka Kattaddorra

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    1. "we are saving claws all the time we are educating"

      Excellent point. I agree. Even 10 cats saved from declawing is a success as far as I am concerned but I suspect many more have been saved because of our work - perhaps thousands. Like you I can't stop fighting for cats who are victims of declawing.

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  2. With that attitude nothing that is wrong, cruel, unjust or unethical would ever be banned and bullies would rule the world! We have to fight, we have to believe that eventually declawing will come to be seen for the cruel mutilation that it is, looking the other way or giving up without trying isn't an option, even one cat saved from a lifetime of pain, mental and physical, is more than worth any effort on our part. Don't let the defeatists win, keep fighting! Barbara

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    1. Excellent comment Babz. We'll keep fighting all the way and at least we will protect some cats.

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  3. Hello From the USA, I totally agree with all of you about maintaining a campaign against declawing!! Believe it or not, in every state across this country there are groups/organizations protesting against the inhumane treatment of the very 4 legged creatures we are to lovingly care for; from tail-docking and ear-cropping all the way to burning brands on the hide of cattle. These groups are going to Washington D.C. even to appeal to Congress to MAKE these practices illegal! Infact, there are more rescue groups/organizations and foster groups than there are animal shelters in almost every city. The foster and rescue groups take in any and all 4 legged (in some cases 3 legged or two...) creatures that need love, food, warmth, a roof over their head AND medical attention, which comes straight out of the nearly empty pockets of these generous caretakers. The veterinarians help by being sensitive to the financial needs while making the sweet animal as good as new or at least as comfortable as possible for the while it has left, There are many vets who don't like these horrible deforming procedures as well, I know the vet I have now doesn't! One day, while sitting in the waiting room with our sweet dog, Annie, I struck up a chatty conversation with the lady across the room, we talked about our pets and I noticed how very, very sad this little Rat Terrier looked; I asked if he was very ill, she replied, "no, just time for yearly exams." I commented on how quiet he is, my Annie kept barking "Hello" to each person that came in. She said that when she got him, he would bark all the time so she ask the vet in our particular building to do something about it, and he said "NO!", so she had to find some vet who would. well, she did. The poor pooch who does what the breed does naturally, got the nerves of his vocal cords SEVERED!! The lady is a ~~monster~~ ! I would feel sad if I couldn't have a conversation with Annie or Spaz, Simon, Missy or Gideon!! They ALL have exciting things to say to me!! When we got Annie, almost 10 years ago, (a wheaten-terrier/chow-mix)at three months old, she became an inside dog only instead of outside only; an only dog with 5 cats instead of LOTS of CONSTANTLY barking dogs; no children to cuddle and play with, only an older couple, NO GROUND TO POTTY ANY TIME SHE WANTED!!! NO food to eat anytime she wanted!! WOW!!!! system over load for a puppy!! back up, one thing at a time.. this little puppy barked CONSTANTLY!!!! SO WE GO OUTSIDE TO POTTY EVERY 2 HOURS, teach her to play ball and other toys and of course, cuddle and kiss! go for walks to see the new world, (that will ONLY be seen from the leash!) and begin to clicker train Annie to bark on command. This took about two weeks but Annie can bark 3 different ways! when I say "SPEAK" ; quiet voice "rowlf" and when I open and close my fingers and thumb, no words from me, she will bark; the kids love this trick, they can learn this one!! we HAVE NEVER punished her for barking, OR RAISED OUR VOICE (or anything else for that matter...accidents on the floor,(" hey when ya gotta go, ya gotta go! Mom didn't take me out when I needed!") or chewed up walls, chairs and new boots, well, that's a different dissertation :-) Anyway, There are SO MANY GOOD people who want desperately to have the evil practices eliminated forever, and this DOES include many veterinarians!!! Ann ().,.()__?woof! ^.,.^__/meow

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    1. Thanks for your support and you wrote a great comment. Love it. Devocalising is a dangerous procedure. It is indefensible and an extension of the mentality of a vet who is in money making mode while in denial about the fact that he is in breach of his oath. This is a page on devocalising:

      http://pictures-of-cats.org/devocalization-of-cats-and-dogs.html

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  4. "Oh, but if it means they won't lose their home" some vets will do just about anything to justify a non-therapeutic procedure - and for those many people who are not that familiar with anatomy, the vocal cords are the last protection to the airway - screw with them and you are asking for aspiration pneumonia.

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    1. Devocalisation is a risky procedure and to do it for the convenience of the "owner" is madness.

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