Los Angeles, Beverly Hills city councils take big steps toward enacting bans on cat declawing
Call it a victory for scratching-post manufacturers: In preliminary actions, the Los Angeles City Council and the Beverly Hills City Council have voted unanimously to approve a ban on cat declawing in their respective cities.
As we've reported previously, the issue of declawing -- though long a controversial one -- has come to a head in California in recent months because of a pending law that gives the state authority over medical scope-of-practice issues. That law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, will prevent cities and counties from banning procedures like declawing.
So, if a city in California wishes to ban the practice, as West Hollywood did a few years back, it needs to act fast. A number of California cities are attempting to do just that; beyond L.A. and Beverly Hills, the Santa Monica City Council took a big step toward banning declawing late last month and is expected to revisit the issue next week. Up north, San Francisco and Berkeley are weighing similar actions.
"I don't think we should allow people at the state level to dictate to us our local actions," L.A. City Councilman Paul Koretz, who sponsored the ordinance, told our sister blog L.A. Now. But Councilman Bill Rosendahl, himself a cat owner, put the issue in more personal -- er, felinal? -- terms. "The bottom line is, you take the claws out of a cat, you take away the cat," Rosendahl said.
The issue is expected to go to a final vote at meetings of the L.A. City Council and Beverly Hills City Council on Nov. 17.
Elsewhere in Southern California, the Malibu City Council is weighing a resolution officially opposing the declawing procedure, but if approved, the resolution would stop short of banning it. That resolution is scheduled for discussion at a council meeting Monday, Nov. 9.
-- Lindsay Barnett
Photo: Mary Altaffer / Associated Press