The Honorable Bill Quirk, PhD
California State Assembly
State Capitol – P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0020
Re: Anti-Declaw Bill AB 1230 – SUPPORT
Dear Assemblymember Quirk,
Thank you for introducing legislation, AB 1230, which will prohibit the unnecessary and harmful practice of declawing in California.
Declawing is amputation, whether performed by scalpel, clippers, or laser. We believe there is never a reason to declaw for non-therapeutic reasons (that is, unless surgery were necessary to treat animals’ medical conditions). Declawing does not keep cats in homes, a fact acknowledged by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP).
Eight cities in California – Los Angeles, San Francisco, West Hollywood, Burbank, Santa Monica, Berkeley, Beverly Hills, and Culver City – plus the City and County of Denver, Colorado have enacted declaw bans. Statistics available from those cities indicate that the relinquishment of cats to shelters in those cities, in the years since the bans were enacted, has not increased – in fact, the number of cats dumped in shelters has decreased consistently in the years since the laws went into effect. Veterinarians in five of the 10 Canadian provinces have voted, in the past year, to prohibit declawing.
There is no reason to declaw cats to protect human health. The NIH, CDC, US Public Health Service, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the Canadian Medical Association, all have specifically stated that the declawing is “not advised,” even for the animals of persons who are severely immunocompromised, including those with HIV. This opinion is echoed in statements on declawing published by the AAHA and the AAFP. The National Hemophilia Foundation and the American Cancer Society do not recommend declawing to protect humans from scratches.
I believe such a bill will be successful and will be a model for humane legislation in other states. I strongly support AB 1230.
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