Denver passes bill banning cat declawing

Denver cat-declawing ban, facing vote tonight, is poised to become first in a US city outside California

A ban on declawing cats passed unanimously during a Denver City Council meeting Monday, according to 9 News in Denver.

Many veterinarians offer elective declawing in suburban Denver.

City Council member Kendra Black proposed the ban, saying that declawing is a cruel procedure and actually severs the tips of the toes of cats.

Last week, the measure passed its first full city council vote.

The ban outlaws the procedure in Denver unless a surgery was medically necessary.

But vets say they want the option to do so in case it's a health issue with the pet owner.

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Declawing occurs in a procedure known as onychectomy.

The local impetus for a ban is Denver veterinarian Aubrey Lavizzo, the local leader of the Paw Project, who persuaded Black to push for it. Bans also are common in other countries, including Australia, Israel, Brazil, Japan and across much of Europe.

A ban could potentially lower the number of cats in rescue shelters.

Declawing, or onychectomy, is an amputation and should be regarded as a major surgery, according to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation.

"A decision to declaw a cat is affected by many human and animal factors", Andre said at a public hearing November 6.

Jennifer Conrad, who pushed for the first USA declawing ban more than a decade ago, in West Hollywood, founded the Paw Project.

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