St. Louis board votes to ban cat declawing

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ST. LOUIS — Officials have voted to ban local veterinarians from declawing cats, a move that follows a growing trend across the US.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the St. Louis Board of Aldermen on Friday voted 21-1 to end the practice.

Vets declaw cats by slicing through bone to amputate the first segment of a cat’s toes. The operation was once commonly performed to protect furniture and human skin from feline scratching but has in recent years come under scrutiny by animal welfare advocates, cat owners and many vets.

The St. Louis bill against declawing includes an exception for medically necessary procedures. The American Veterinary Medical Association says declawing is sometimes needed to treat infections or tumors.

Democratic Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia said the procedure can be painful. She said there are other options to prevent cats from scratching.

Declawing a cat is already illegal in much of Europe and Canada, as well as in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver.

Recently, New York became the first state to ban the procedure.

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