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Denver eyeing municipal declaw ban


A city panel moved the measure one step closer to approval in October.

Getty ImagesDenver, Colorado, has joined the ranks of cities trying to pass bans on elective declawing after the city council advanced the proposed ban forward in October after hearing arguments from cat owners, rescue organizations and veterinary professionals who don't perform onychectomy procedures, according to theDenver Post.

The plan drew formal opposition from the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), who said it "oversimplifies complex decision-making" that veterinarians and cat owners use when deciding to perform the procedure, the Post reports.

If councilwoman Kendra Black's ban passes, Denver would be the first U.S. city to outlaw declaws outside of California, where eight cities have banned the procedure. Denver's proposal would provide an exemption when a declawing procedure was deemed medically necessary, and only if performed by a licensed veterinarian while the cat is under anesthesia, the Post says.

At the city council meeting CVMA's current and incoming presidents told the council's safety committee that they opposed declawing but didn't want local government to wade into medical decision-making.

“We support the principle that complex medical decisions belong in the domain of the owner and the veterinarian,” said Will French, DVM, the organization's current president, according to the Post.

The full council was scheduled to introduce the proposed ban November 6 and could cast a final vote on November 13. The procedure would still be available at suburban clinics if the ban is passed, the Post reports.

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