In California, West Hollywood passed an ordinance outlawing declawing for non-medical reasons. The California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) was perturbed by this, claiming cities and counties do not have the authority to infringe upon veterinarians' supposed "right" to mutilate cats. West Hollywood responded that state law allows localities to ban practices they feel are inherently cruel. It was a city v. state law battle brewing. The CVMA took it to the legislature and sponsored legislation to restrict cities' rights to outlaw egregiously cruel practices, like declawing. Declawing, according to the CVMA, is a necessary part of being a veterinarian and to outlaw it would infringe upon vets' normal job duties. The 2008 bill failed but was brought back in 2009 and has tragically become state law.
But any local law introduced or passed before January 1, 2010 (when the state law goes into effect) will be exempt from the state law. This means there is still a chance to prevent unnecessary suffering in house cats. The Paw Project is working tirelessly to implement laws that ban declawing before the deadline. San Francisco, Santa Monica and Los Angeles are all considering prohibiting declawing in their cities.
If you live in San Francisco, Santa Monica or Los Angeles, please contact your elected represenatives and ask they ban the unnecessary, cruel practice of declawing. Visit The Paw Project for contact information.