UPDATE: Pittsburgh City Council Votes Unanimously to Ban Cat Declawing in City of Pittsburgh | News | Pittsburgh

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CP photo: Kimberly Rooney

The toaster gets its claws cut every few weeks.

Update – 3 p.m. Tue. Sept. 28

Pittsburgh City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday, September 28 in favor of Councilor Bobby Wilson’s bill to ban declawing of cats in the city. The vote comes a week after a September 22 Standing Committee meeting, in which animal welfare groups, vets and others spoke about the harms and dangers of declawing. The Standing Committee affirmatively recommended the bill.

Original story published September 22
Anyone who is cuddled with a cat knows how finicky they can be. Beans harmless one moment, claws the next. While cat claws can hurt, declawing causes pain and other behavioral and health problems for cats, and a new law could ban the act in the city of Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh City Councilor Bobby Wilson (D-North Side) introduced Bill 1877 to September 14, City council meeting, where it was read and referred to the Public Security Services Commission. The bill, if passed, will amend Title Six, Section III, Chapter 633 of the Pittsburgh Code, which deals more broadly with dogs and cats, to prohibit declawing of cats. The act would be punishable by a fine of up to $ 500 for each violation.

“The city of Pittsburgh should lead by example as a human city, both in southwestern Pennsylvania and throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” Wilson said in a press release. “The way we treat animals speaks to our deepest values. ”

The bill, which is co-sponsored by Councilors Bruce Kraus (D-South Side) and Anthony Coghill (D-Beechview), outlines several reasons why declawing cats is both inhuman and potentially dangerous to cats and pets. people who coexist with them.

“Declawing a cat is not just removing its claws. Instead, it means amputating the last bone of each of the cat’s toes. If that happened to a human, it would be like cutting off every finger and toe at the last joint, ”Wilson said. “This is a cruel and inhumane procedure that will cause our cats a lifetime of pain and discomfort. ”

The bill also highlights the behavioral problems of declawed cats, such as an increased aversion to bites and litter boxes, as well as the dangers to declawed outdoor cats since they are no longer able to cope. defend adequately.

If behavioral issues lead people to abandon their cats, Bill notes that it would deplete resources from the local shelter system, Animal Care & Control, community cat rescue and return to field programs. The bill also states that declawed cats tend to be less adoptable due to behavioral issues, which can lead to euthanasia and in turn cause compassion fatigue for shelter workers.

Leading health authorities that have advised against declawing cats to protect humans, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, the US Public Health Services, and the Infectious Diseases Society of America, are cited in the law Project. The American Veterinary Medical Association, the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Association of Feline Practitioners also oppose declawing cats as an elective procedure.

The declawing ban also has precedent in New York State, St. Louis County in Missouri, as well as in many US cities including Austin, Denver, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Countries in Europe, South America and Oceania have also banned declawing cats. More locally, all veterinary hospitals operated by Mars Veterinary Health no longer offer elective declawing.

The bill offers alternatives to declawing for cat owners who are concerned that cats will scratch furniture, other property and owners. Regular nail trimming, scratching posts, pheromone deterrent spray, coating furniture, and using plastic nail covers are all alternatives that do not require severing bones, nerves, joint capsules and limbs. collateral ligaments of the cat. These alternatives also allow cats to maintain means of movement and defense, as well as normal posture and use of the toes.

“We can do better,” Wilson said. “My bill puts the city of Pittsburgh on the path to humane treatment of our cats. ”

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