Bill Prohibiting Declawing, Debarking As Condition Of Tenancy Advances

A new bill that would prohibit the forced acts of declawing and debarking by landlords has been sent to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for approval.

A bill that would prohibit landlords from requiring tenants or potential tenants to declaw or devocalize their animal as a condition of occupancy has been sent to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for signature.

“Animal” is defined as any mammal, bird, reptile or amphibian.

AB 2743, introduced by Assemblyman Pedro Nava in February, contends that such procedures have irreversible effects on the animals.

In addition, the bill notes that declawing and devocalization may have the unintended consequence of creating potential public health and safety concerns. For example, there may be a safety risk to police officers posed by a devocalized attack dog present on property that law enforcement officers have legal cause to enter, according to the bill.

Increased aggression and litter box avoidance by declawed cats is another example the bill gives.

“The permanence of these surgical procedures contrasts with the temporary nature of the occupancy of real property owned by another, which generally lasts only for a fixed term and may be terminated upon notice by one of the parties.”

The California Veterinary Medical Association, which has long opposed declawing bans, agrees with the bill’s concept but officially opposes it due to certain language.

For instance, CVMA maintains that the public health and safety concerns it states are not only incorrect, they are scientifically unfounded.

“There is no proven relationship between a cat declaw procedure and the impact on public safety,” CVMA President Mark Nunez, DVM, said in an earlier media alert. “All cats, whether declawed or not, have the ability to bite, soil, scratch, etc., but again, these behaviors certainly do not rise to the level of ‘public health and safety concern.’”

CVMA also takes issue with the bill’s definitions of “non-therapeutic,” “declawing” and “devocalization.”

“These definitions set the stage for future legislation to limit the veterinarian-client-patient relationship,” Dr. Nunez said. “The intent of the bill is to prohibit a landlord from stipulating that an animal must be declawed or devocalized as a condition of tenancy. It is irrelevant if the procedure is being performed for ‘non-therapeutic’ reasons.”

Landlords violating the bill would be subject to a fine of up to $1,000 per animal.

To read the bill, visit


Leave a Comment


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Sign-up for your account with Veterinary Practice News. Your account gives you unlimited free access to our Newsletter Archives and our Digital Editions of Veterinary Practice News.
Please check the box below to confirm you would like to be added to Kenilworth Media’s various e-mail communications (includes e-newsletters, a survey now and then, and offers to the veterinarian industry*).

Leave this empty:

*We do not sell your e-mail address to 3rd parties, we simply forward their offers to you. Of course, you always have the right to unsubscribe from any communications you receive from us, should you change your mind in the future.