Where have you heard this before:
"We believe that the decision to perform a medical or surgical procedure should be made by the ____ in consultation with their ____."
If you filled in the blanks with "patient" and "physician," you were wrong. The correct answer is your cat and veterinarian.
In California, it seems the health care debate has spread to cats. Specifically, the declawing of cats, a procedure technically known as onychectomy or flexor tendonectomy. Cat lovers say declawing a cat's paws is an act of animal cruelty.
And, if you thought the California legislature's only mission last July was to what laughingly is referred to as balancing the budget, you were wrong again.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a law July 2 that gives the state authority over medical scope-of-practice issues and prevents cities and counties from passing ordinances banning medical procedures starting Jan. 1, 2010.
This has created a state of urgency to beat the deadline in cities such as Santa Monica, Los Angeles and San Francisco to clip a cat's scratching tools, according to a dispatch in today's Los Angeles Times.
Dr. Mark Nunez, president of the California Veterinary Medical Assn., which sponsored the state law, said his group is opposed to bans at the local level. "We believe that the decision to perform a medical or surgical procedure should be made by the owner of the cat in consultation with their veterinarian." The association represents more than 6,000 veterinary professionals in the state.
Memo to Dr. Nunez: Humans don't "own" cats; they take care of them, mostly.
The Santa Monica City Council voted last week to draft an ordinance restricting animal declawing effective no later than Dec. 31. Councilman Kevin McKeown said declawing is "an unacceptable act of animal cruelty."
The city of West Hollywood set the standard by banning declawing except for medical purposes in 2003. The decision was overturned after a challenge by the veterinary association but was reinstated by a state appeals court in 2007. The state Supreme Court declined to hear the case. Under the new state law, West Hollywood's ban will stand, as would any other municipalities' bans that take effect before Jan. 1.
There's one animal rights group that is waffling. Madeline Bernstein, president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Los Angeles, said her group is not in favor of animal declawing but is neutral on the issue of city bans.
Pet owners/caretakers set the rules for the animal kingdom. Declawing an animal seems to me an act of perversion as it would be forcing a human to chew and eat after removing all the teeth. Another acceptable practice for good reason is neutering male and females, a procedure if applied to humans would be associated with those town hall death panel chants.
A crazy world we live in. Human children have no lobby. Pets do.