If only I had ‘meowed’ when I was born: how cats are protected more than boys in Australia

Cat declawing and circumcision in AustraliaIn Australia, the declawing of cats has never been common. In at least some States specific legislation exists that prohibits declawing unless there are exceptional circumcstances (for example, the NSW Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (General) Regulation 1996). While specific legislation for other States is difficult to find, the Australian Veterinary Association  has effectively banned the procedure under its policy of only performing surgical procedures for legitimate medical reasons:

“Surgical alteration to the natural state of an animal is acceptable only if it is necessary for the health and welfare of the animal concerned. Performance of any surgical procedure for other than legitimate medical reasons is unacceptable.”

So the Vetinary Association ‘gets’ that “surgical alteration to the natural state of an animal” is unacceptabe, except for legitimate medical reasons.  But while surgical alteration to kittens has been banned, apparently non-medical surgical alteration to human baby boys is perfectly OK.

The key to understanding this situation is in the first sentence of this post. It appears that the Government and other organisations will act to stop abuse and cruelty where it is uncommon, such as declawing and female circumcision. But these groups will look the other way if the cruelty and abuse is common and part of our culture, like male infant circumcision.

Below are some the snippets of some of the news releases and other webpages on this subject. The parallels to infant circumcision are remarkable, yet the cats are given more protection under the law. I’ve added a few comments in red:

One of the proponents of the laws is http://www.straypetadvocacy.org. Their byline is: To Speak for Those Who Have No Voice. (Day-old infants don’t say much either…)

They say: “The U.S. and Canada are the only countries where declawing is commonplace. In many countries declawing is illegal or is considered inhumane, and you would be hard-pressed to find a veterinarian who would agree to do the operation. In the U.S., it’s quite easy to declaw preemptively, i.e., even in the absence of any scratching problem. We’ve turned medically unnecessary amputation, done for the convenience of the human, into something routine.” (Gee, that all has a familiar ring…..)

A popular cat website in Australia says: “Occasionally there are medical reasons in which it will be of benefit to the cat to declaw but these are few and far between.” (Amputate only if there is a medical reason? Cat owners have put more thought into this than many parents…)

This site continues to state: “I like to think that cat owners would accept their cats behavior warts & all & would hope that people consider that cats come with claws prior to adopting them.” (Just as baby boys come with foreskins….)

The California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) and Cat Fanciers’ Association do not want the procedures prohibited by law. The VMA objection is that “the choice to have the procedure is a private matter between a client and veterinarian.” (Or maybe your support is because your members need to make a decent living, just as Doctors don’t get paid when they just leave it alone…)

Declawing is now banned in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, San Francisco, West Hollywood, and Santa Monica. The West Hollywood ban was recently upheld by an Californian appeals court in a challenge by the CVMA. (Way to go your Honour!! Thanks for protecting all those innocent little kittens…)

This cruel procedure is also illegal in 25 nations, including the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Brazil, Norway and Germany. Anti-Declaw advocates (often called “Pro-Claw”) have been crusading for many years for similar bans in the United States. They believe that cats’ claws are there for a purpose (sort of like a foreskin?), and that to deprive them of their basic form of defense, as well as their necessary tools for exercise and mobility is cruel and inhumane. Although consumer education has made slow progress, they believe anti-declaw laws are necessary. (Let’s see, first educate the owners (and parents), but when that fails, just work to get it outlawed. Sounds like a plan.)

It is commonly performed using a guillotine-type blade, and is always done under general anesthesia. Because of associated post-operative pain, pain control medication is often prescribed for the recuperating cat. (Well, how sweet is that… The cats ALWAYS get anesthesia, and pain meds for post-op. We sure don’t want Snowball in any pain now, do we…)

How is it that advocates for the rights of the cat can get laws passed on such issues, yet we’ve got the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Sex Discrimination Commissioner and the Australian Government who think that our boys don’t deserve the same protection?

Well, you’ll have to excuse me now. I’m going to go shred the side of my sofa with what’s left of my penis.

(Thanks to a member of a related site for the original idea and much of the content for this post, used here with his permission.)