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State declaws anti-declawing laws

August 18, 2008 |  3:52 pm

The_legislature_is_in_and_the_claws_are_out_2 State lawmakers to animal activists: Nice try. Passing laws to make the declawing of cats illegal is itself not legal, according to a bill approved today. The legislation is aimed at cities and counties that have tried to regulate professions licensed by the state, Patrick McGreevy reports:

The Senate voted 23-3 to restrict local governments from prohibiting actions allowed under state licensing by numerous professions, including veterinarians, optometrists and dentists.

Sen. Sheila Keuhl, a Democrat who represents West Hollywood, blasted the decision, saying it usurps the ability of cities to set higher standards for businesses.

AB 2427 was written by Assemblyman Mike Eng (D-Monterey Park) following an appeals court decision last year that found existing state law did not preempt the city of West Hollywood from adopting an ordinance barring veterinarians from declawing cats. City officials believe the procedure is inhumane.

Without the law, which previously was approved by the Assembly, "We would have a collage of laws throughout the state, county by county, saying what healthcare professionals can and cannot do," said Sen. Sam Aanestad (R-Grass Valley), an oral surgeon. "That is not acceptable."

As part of the compromise to get the bill approved, Eng agreed it would not apply to city ordinances approved before Jan. 1, 2009, so West Hollywood felines remain safe.

Meanwhile, the Legislature has missed the six-week deadline to pass a budget. There ought to be a law.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

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