A proposal to officially ban cat declawing in Denver was unanimously approved by city council on Monday night.
WUSA reported that the ordinance is effective immediately. All or most of the last bone of each of the ten front toes is removed, and tendons, nerves and ligaments that allow for normal function of the paw are severed.
If the bill passes, it will become illegal to declaw cats in the city.
Kirsten Butler, a veterinary technician, said she no longer participates in the procedures.
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"A decision to declaw a cat is affected by many human and animal factors", said Andre, a practicing veterinarian. "The well-being of the animal and their human family is best defended by providing owners with education about alternatives to declawing, appropriate training for family cats, and well-informed discussions between that pet owner and their veterinary medicine provider".
Denver joins San Francisco, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Berkeley, Culver City and Burbank, which have all enacted similar bans.
Veterinarians call declawing a major and often painful surgery. The Colorado Veterinary Medical Association opposed the bill, somewhat surprisingly, saying it was an issue that should be left up to cat owners and their pets' doctors.
This is the first USA city outside of California to ban the procedure, the Denver Post reported. Declawing bans are also common in most of Europe.