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What Can I Do To Help Ban Declawing In My Country

Discussion in 'IMO: In My Opinion' started by PMousse, May 29, 2018.

  1. PMousse

    PMousse Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Nov 10, 2017
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    One of the first things I educated myself on when getting ready to adopt my cat last year was the facts about declawing. Needless to say I'm against it 100%. It's encouraging that more people are becoming informed about this issue, and that there are a lot of educational materials out there.

    However, I recently became convinced that simply talking about it is not enough. I live in a country--namely, Canada--where declawing is still legal. So the ultimate goal is to make it illegal in Canada. So,

    I want to know what practical things I can do to help achieve this goal. What more can I do besides simply writing a letter to my local representative? What actions will generate the maximum impact? Is it better to focus on changing provincial legislation first? Are there similar efforts already under way that I can join, such as organizations or petitions?

    I'm looking for actionable items as well as your experience in this effort. Thanks.
     

  2. bodester413

    bodester413 TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Jan 26, 2016
    Midwest USA


    Yea, it is hard to do something where you feel like you're actually getting results. I just try to chip away at peoples preconceived notions about declawing being no big deal. My sister and her husband were originally going to get their cat declawed. We talked about it a few times and it didn't seem like she was coming around, but eventually she did. I had to take advantage of being the youngest child/ sometimes manipulative butt-head in our family unit and lay a major guilt trip on her. Now she's glad she didn't declaw but it took quite a bit of enlightening to get her there.
     
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  3. Azazel

    Azazel TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Apr 14, 2018
    New York, NY
    It's already illegal in at least 2 provinces in Canada -- BC and Nova Scotia I believe. You might look into how that was achieved in those provinces.
     
    PMousse purraised this.

  4. gareth

    gareth TCS Member Super Cat

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    Dec 19, 2003
    UK
    In the UK declawing was never a thing. Culturally it was seen as being cruel. In vet schools it was described as being barbaric unless being done for medical reasons. It was banned completely in 2006 but this was merely ticking a box as most UK people would never see a declawed cat and most UK vets would refuse to do it anyway. My wife did not learn how to do it until she had to pass the exams to be a vet in the USA and qualified before the UK laws came in.

    This "might" be because 90% of UK cats are left to roam freely outside so there was no driving pressure to protect furtniture. However, with 1 in 4 UK cats dying on the roads this is now changing. Even so there is not the slightest murmur of people wanting to declaw. It's just not something UK owners would do to their pets.

    In the UK we have the 5 freedoms, which are the basis of animal welfare law in the UK

    1. Freedom from Hunger and Thirst - by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour.

    2. Freedom from Discomfort - by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.

    3. Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease - by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.

    4. Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour - by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal's own kind.

    5. Freedom from Fear and Distress - by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.

    If you violate one of these animal freedoms in the UK, you are going to end up on the wrong side of the law, and we brits take our animal laws pretty seriously. nDeclawing contravenes 1 of these freedoms, which is the freedom for an animal to express normal behaviour, and hence is punishable by a £20,000 fine and a year in prison.

    If this nutter that has decapitated 200 cats in the UK is ever caught, god help him.
     

  5. PMousse

    PMousse Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

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    535
    Nov 10, 2017
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Thanks, @gareth. It's good to know how other countries did it. I think you illustrated a good point, which is that it was already part of the prevailing culture/belief, so signing it into law was fairly easy.

    I think in NA, based on what I've read so far (and the very helpful documentary called The Paw Project), there's still a lot of educating people to do to change their perceptions, and there are still vets who would do it for profit more than the well-being of the animals.
     

  6. sargon

    sargon TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Sep 22, 2016
    St. Louis Metra Area
    That's how I picked my vet. I looked up what vet in my area didn't perform routine declawings. I figured any vet who performed routine declawing ( as opposed to rare but medically necessary medical amputation, such as in he case of severe infection) probably didn't care about the welfare of the cats in their care.
     
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  7. Daisy6

    Daisy6 A cat's best friend Alpha Cat

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    Jun 2, 2018
    Floriida
    In the UK letting cats roam freely outdoors is favored over keeping them inside. It makes no sense to me why they do it, but that part of their culture is one possible reason for their opposition to declawing. In North America, keeping cats indoors is culturally supported. Some vets say cats who never go outside don't need to keep their front claws (including the my first one), while others discourage it but will do it anyway.
     

  8. gareth

    gareth TCS Member Super Cat

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    UK
    You are largely correct, but the culture is rapidly changing in the UK, helped by an increase in expensive pedigree cats, and a guy who gets his jollies decapitating people's pets (500 at last count).

    American vet attitude is changing. My wife regularly convenes with big groups of them, and their attitude is evolving as they talk more and more with vets from the rest of the developed world.

    You can see the difference in the OATH sworn by US and UK vets. Both are similar, but UK vets have in capitals the following end to theirs

    ABOVE ALL my constant
    endeavour will be to ensure the health and welfare
    of animals committed to my care"

    UK vets interpreted this as "we don't care what owners want, we don't care what the law says, we don't care what society says, if it's not in the interests of the animals we aint doin it". This means my wife has been to court several times for killing an animal against the owners will. They take this oath pretty seriously.

    So the driving force in the UK was the vets rather than the owners. British vets had been refusing to do it for years as it was considered a breach of their oath. Declawing a cat is putting the owners interests above the welfare of the animal. That's a big no-no to UK vets. There was still a demand for it from the culture but the professional service wasn't available. In addition they had largely stopped teaching it at vet school as the schools considered it animal abuse, so the law really just brought reality up to speed with what was already happening.

    My wife ( a UK vet ) had to be trained how to do it in order to pass her American Vet Board exams, and found it disgusting. Rest assured if she practices in the states she will be one vet that flat out refuses to do it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018 at 12:38 AM

  9. Daisy6

    Daisy6 A cat's best friend Alpha Cat

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    Jun 2, 2018
    Floriida
    She would love living in Denver then because declawing is banned there.
     

  10. gareth

    gareth TCS Member Super Cat

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    Dec 19, 2003
    UK
    and Colorado is on our list of 5 possibly destinations when we move.But that's got more to do with the fact that the scenery is enough to make you fall to your knees and weep with joy than the legislation :)
     

  11. Daisy6

    Daisy6 A cat's best friend Alpha Cat

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    Jun 2, 2018
    Floriida
    LOL I did not mean to get off topic but that is a good reason to live there if you're both nature lovers.
     

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