The City Council voted last week to draft an ordinance to restrict animal declawing in the city. Los Angeles and San Francisco are considering similar proposals.

The motion, introduced by council members Kevin McKeown and Gleam Davis, directs the city to prepare the ordinance so that it could take effect no later than Dec. 31 because of a deadline imposed by a pending state law.

McKeown called cat declawing “an unacceptable act of animal cruelty.”

In Los Angeles, City Councilmen Paul Koretz and Bill Rosendahl this month presented a motion to ban onychectomy (declawing) or flexor tendonectomy on animals except to address medical conditions.


The issue has gained urgency because of a law signed July 2 that gives the state authority over medical scope-of-practice issues and prevents cities and counties from passing ordinances banning medical procedures starting Jan. 1.

Dr. Mark Nunez, president of the California Veterinary Medical Assn., which sponsored the state law, said his group is opposed to bans at the local level. “We believe that the decision to perform a medical or surgical procedure should be made by the owner of the cat in consultation with their veterinarian.”

-- Anne Colby