SF cat de-clawing ban nears approval


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Many say it's cruel and there is such a rush by city leaders to stop it.

You could say it was an "Only in San Francisco" moment.

Walter the "Singer" was one of many people who showed up at City Hall favoring a ban on the de-clawing of cats.

"Declawing cats is a cruel procedure that removes a cat's toes at their first joint, severing and removing bones and tendons. It's just not pulling out the nails," said a cat de-clawing ban supporter.

"They can't use their litter box because their little knuckles hurt," said another person who supports the ban on cat de-clawing.

De-clawing has been used in the past because cats sometimes scratch their owners and furniture.

Even though most people in San Francisco are against the practice, several organizations don't want the ban, including the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

They believe the ordinance could lead to more abandoned or euthanized cats.

"If there is a ban on de-clawing that these folks may have to give up their pets," said Dr. Chris Cowing from the California Veterinary Association.

Dr. Cowing testified on Monday. He believes vets should decide, and not cities.

"We should not have individual cities telling each practice how they can practice and how they cannot practice," he said.

But this board of supervisors committee voted in favor of the ban.

Now the full board will vote on the proposed ban on November 3rd. The goal is to have this on the books by January 1st. San Francisco wants to beat a state law taking effect in January, which says no city or municipality can create their own legislation to ban de-clawing.

"A number of cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles are galvanizing quickly to say listen we don't want our rights to be taken away so we are seriously considering a cat de-claw ban," said San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi.

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