Veterinarians sue over ban on animal declawing

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (AP) A veterinarians group sued West Hollywood on Monday over its ban on animal declawing, which the city regards as inhumane.

The suit by the California Veterinary Medical Association says the law conflicts with the state's professional veterinary code.

"Just like medical doctors, veterinarians in California are highly regulated by the state," said Jon Klingborg, the association's president. "We simply cannot have local city councils approving laws that conflict with state law." Mayor John Duran defended the 2003 law, saying it prohibits animal cruelty.

The city has a history of adopting pet-friendly ordinaces. One law designates residents as pet "guardians" rather than pet "owners." Another passed last year requires pet-grooming businesses to report injuries related to grooming within 24 hours.
Besides declawing, the city council in February ordered the city attorney to prepare a law banning other "noncurative" animal surgeries, including tail docking, ear cropping, defanging and debarking.

The law, if passed, would be the first of its kind in the United States, although similar rules apply in many European countries, Duran has