The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously last night to illegalize cat declawing, the Oakland Tribune reports. San Francisco enacted a similar law last week. Berkeley's ordinance makes cat declawing a crime, punishable by a $1,000 fine or six months in jail. Councilman Jesse Arreguin sponsored the new law, labeling the practice of declawing cats to protect property or to avoid minor injuries to humans as being "horrific."
The California Veterinary Medical Association opposed the ban, saying the decision of whether to declaw a cat should be left up to the animal's owner in consultation with his or her vet. But a vet who backed the new ban said a Southern California study revealed that "95 percent of vets are declawing cats to protect furniture."