Pittsburgh City Councilman Bobby Wilson Introduces Legislation to Protect Cats from being Declawed


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PITTSBURGH, PA (September 17, 2021) — Pittsburgh City Councilman Bobby Wilson (District 1) introduced legislation this week to protect cats from being declawed in the City of Pittsburgh. Alternatives to cat declawing include capping a cat's nails with nail caps, regularly trimming cats’ nails, and providing ample appropriate scratching surfaces to cats.

“The City of Pittsburgh should set an example as a humane city, both in southwest Pennsylvania and across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” said Councilman Wilson. “How we treat animals speaks to our deepest values. Declawing a cat does not just mean removing its nails. Instead, it means amputating the last bone on each of the cat’s toes. If this happened to a human, it would be like cutting off each finger and toe at the last knuckle. This is a cruel and inhumane procedure that will cause our cats a lifetime of pain and discomfort. We can do bettermy bill puts the City of Pittsburgh on a path to treating our cats humanely.”

If enacted, this legislation would make the City of Pittsburgh the first government in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to ban the declaw of cats. Major American cities, including Austin, Berkeley, Beverly Hills, Burbank, Culver City, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood, the County of St. Louis, and the State of New York already prohibit the non-therapeutic declaw of cats.

All veterinary hospitals operated by Mars Veterinary Health, including VCA, Banfield, and BluePearl hospitals, no longer offer elective declawing procedures. The American Veterinary Medical Association, the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Association of Feline Practitioners also oppose declawing as an elective procedure.  The American Association of Feline Practitioners also banned declawing in their certified “cat friendly practices” at the beginning of this year.

For press inquiries, please contact Councilman Wilson’s Legislative Aide, Mohammed Burny, at (412) 215-0528 or mohammed.burny@pittsburghpa.gov.

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