American Veterinary Medical Association condemns declawing of wild cats and condones declawing of domestic cats?

Late in the day, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) decided to condemn the declawing of wild cats because they couldn’t see any reason for doing it. There is positively no reason for declawing wild cats. Therefore they have to condemn it. In fact they ‘objected’ to it initially but they’ve hardened their stance by using the word “condemn”. Strong language indeed. It’s nice to hear them condemn such an obnoxious procedure which is brutally cruel and unnecessary.

The peculiarity of this decision, though, is that it is equally unnecessary for domestic cats. And yet they ‘discourage’ the declawing of domestic cats but don’t condemn it. In fact they encourage the veterinarian members of the association to make a decision as to whether a cat should be declawed or not in consultation with the cat’s owner. They specifically allow the veterinarian to use their discretion as to whether they should declaw a kitten/cat even when it is not for cat welfare reasons! And often young kittens are declawed. Imagine that? The brutality of it. How can they do that to an such an innocent creature?

Recently declawed cat
Recently declawed cat. Photo: Vet tech (anonymous). Take a long, hard look at the face.

The AVMA justify this because they see a reason for declawing domestic cats other than to improve the health of the cat. But an American veterinarian’s oath is a sworn statement which states that they will only carry out procedures and operations which are in the interest of the animal’s health and welfare. And yet they allow veterinarians to remove the last digit of each toe of a domestic cat’s forepaws because the cat’s owner wants it to happen. And they only want it to happen because they don’t like claws. And they don’t like claws because they’re frightened of them. So millions of kitten mutilations are carried out legally by vets in America because the owners of the kittens are scared of bloody claws! And the AVMA condone it!

As the reason why the AVMA allows their members to declaw cats at their discretion is so feeble and obviously a sham, we have to decide that the real reason why they allow it is because it is highly profitable. Perhaps the word “allow” is incorrect because the AVMA has no power over the veterinarians of America. They are there to promote the profession but by taking the stance that they do in not condemning the declawing of domestic cats, they are achieving the opposite.

They are painting a picture of veterinarians in the USA that are uncaring and able to be in violation of their oath on a day-to-day basis. And this has gone on for decades; since the 1950s. When you think about it like that it is shocking.

I call it an aberration of normal veterinarian behaviour. It just went wrong decades ago and the vets of America lost their moral compass. And this decision to condemn the declawing of wild cats while not doing the same for domestic cats highlights their immoral behaviour. It shows the world that they are on incredibly thin ice in their decision-making and in justifying domestic cat declawing. It shows how hollow their reasoning is.

I have written hundreds of pages on cat declawing and by the way I have seen pictures of mountain lions who have been declawed (it is a horrible and distressing video which I can’t forget). So the AVMA’s condemnation of wild cat declawing apparently makes very little difference to whether the operation is carried out or not. This is a pointer to their weakness and frankly their uselessness.

Surely the AVMA should provide moral guidance and uphold standards but they can’t even uphold the veterinarian’s oath, the fundamental starting point for everything that they do in their clinics and hospitals.

The declawing of cats has been banned in a piecemeal way in certain cities and in one state of America. In Canada the ban in that country is more widespread, I guess because they are more enlightened and have decided to face the immorality of the operation. The fact that some jurisdictions have banned declawing supports the argument that it is immoral and wrong. Not that it needs to be supported in that way because it is clear to anybody with eyes to see and with a decent amount of common sense that it is highly immoral.

For the sake or clarity, it’s immoral because when you adopt a cat you adopt the whole cat. You do not adopt a modified version. If you want to modify a domestic cat before you adopt that cat then you don’t adopt. You do not modify a companion animal like you modify a car. It is the height of arrogance to do so and it is a
breach of the unwritten contract between human and cat.

In the UK declawing is banned not through specific laws but because it goes against standard animal welfare laws. Declawing is a breach of standard animal welfare laws in America as well. That may surprise people but there’s an exception to the general animal welfare laws of America and that is veterinarians can assault and abuse domestic cats in the operation of declawing.

In 20 years time, perhaps longer or perhaps less I don’t know, Americans and American veterinarians will look back on the era of domestic cat declawing, they will scratch their heads and look at each other in bemusement and wonder how the hell they got involved with it. And they’ll hang their heads in shame.

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Speciesism - 'them and us' | Cruelty - always shameful Note: I will donate 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment made over the next three months on pages where comments can be made.
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