Tag Archives: animal rights

Dec 18
2009
10:42 AM

Not Exactly a Nail-Clipping

The LA Times reported last month that California cities are rushing to ban cat declawing.  What's the rush?  Well, first a bit of history.  It all began back in 2003 in West Hollywood.  The city added a prohibition on cat declawing to its  WeHo Municipal Code at 9.29.020, even including rather chilling findings on the matter at 9.49.10.  The California Veterinary Medical Association challenged the ban and won injunctive relief, but lost on appeal.  The State Legislature countered by amending the statute to specifically prohibit local governments from banning legal medical procedures, reasoning that allowing the WeHo ban to stand would set a bad precedent.  Think abortion.  (Check out its history here.)  But they left a loophole, grandfathering in any bans existing on the date the amended statute takes affect, January 1, 2010.  Hence, the rush.  Joining WeHo are the Peoples' Republic of Berkeley, San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Los Angeles, though not all ordinances have yet been finalized.  Those cities join some 25 countries with similar laws on the books.  To research this or other issues in specific municipal codes, check out UC-Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS) website which links to those that are online.