Why are "big cats" protected from declawing by law, but not our domestic cats?

In 2006 the USDA amended the Animal Welfare Act to prohibit declawing (and defanging) of wild and exotic carnivores. This protection includes the "big cats" (lions, tigers, etc.), but does not include their domestic cousins. According to the USDA, these procedures are no longer considered to be... show more In 2006 the USDA amended the Animal Welfare Act to prohibit declawing (and defanging) of wild and exotic carnivores. This protection includes the "big cats" (lions, tigers, etc.), but does not include their domestic cousins.

According to the USDA, these procedures are no longer considered to be acceptable since they can cause considerable pain and discomfort to the animal and may result in chronic health problems. Also according to the USDA, this is consistent with the position statement issued by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Why then is declawing of our domestic feline companions tolerated in the USA? Shouldn't our furry family members have at least the same protection as their larger cousins? And, if the AMVA's position is that declawing can cause considerable pain and discomfort to the animal and may result in chronic health problems why does the AMVA tolerate vets that declaw as a matter of routine?

This just doesn't make sense to me. I'm wondering if you can help me understand why our domestic cats are still subjected to a practice as inhumane as declawing while the big cats are not?
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