One of the most controversial topics for pet owners is the practice of trimming cats’ nails. Surgical removal of a cat’s claws used to be a common practice to prevent scratches and damage to furniture, but is increasingly being seen as painful and inhumane for cats. More and more countries, states and cities prohibit cats from scratching. And now a major US city is slated to join them after unanimously passing the measure.
On Tuesday, the Pittsburgh City Council passed a law prohibiting claw removal operations in the city except when there is a medical need. Veterinarians who perform the procedure will face a $ 500 fine under the new law. According to CBS Pittsburgh, the law would make the city the first Pennsylvania government to ban claw removal.
The new law is not yet certain: It has not yet been signed by Mayor Bill Peduto, and he has not indicated whether or not he will. However, the bill received unanimous approval in the city council and was approved without discussion.
Passing the law would be beneficial to animal rights activists who have long argued that nail removal is inhumane. While many pet owners think of it as a simple procedure to prevent scratching, it is actually a complex surgical amputation that can leave a cat with persistent pain and behavior problems.
“Clawing a cat is not just about clawing it,” said Council Member Bobby Wilson, who introduced the legislation. “If this happened to a person, it would be like cutting off every finger and toe from the last knuckle.”
“The city of Pittsburgh should be an example as a human city, both in southwestern Pennsylvania and throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”
Many countries around the world have banned claw removal, but most of the United States is still legal. Individual states and cities have started bans in recent years: New York passed the first nationwide ban in 2019, and major cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, and Austin have also passed bans.
Hopefully, Pittsburgh will soon be added to this list and help end this inhumane practice.
We are pleased that this ban on cat clawing has been passed in Pittsburgh. We hope that it will come into force soon and that other cities will follow suit.