New Jersey is on its way to becoming the first state in the country to ban veterinarians from declawing cats.
Onychetomy is the medical term for declawing. To be clear, The Catington Post is a strong advocate against declawing. It’s a painful amputation of a cat’s knuckles – not simply removing claws, as many people still believe. It’s a procedure that’s extremely painful, and can have lasting, even lifelong, emotional and physical effects on a cat, whose very nature is to use his claws.
A bill that cleared an Assembly committee on Monday would add declawing to the list of criminal animal cruelty offenses (with exceptions for medical purposes). According to the bill (A3899), veterinarians caught declawing a cat and people who seek them out, would face a fine of up to $1,000 or six months in jail. Violators would also face a civil penalty of $500 to $2,000.
The bill includes medical exceptions where declawing would be allowed:
Existing or recurring illness, infection, disease, injury, or abnormal condition in a claw that compromises the animal’s health. “Therapeutic purpose” shall not mean cosmetic or aesthetic reasons or reasons of convenience in keeping or handling the animal.
Basically, if the bill is passed, declawing a cat to keep it from scratching your furniture would be against the law.
If the bill passes, New Jersey will become the first state in the US to enact a declaw ban, though several cities in California have already outlawed the practice. Declawing is already illegal or considered extremely inhumane in many other countries, including most of Europe and Australia.
The committee ultimately approved the bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-Burlington), who said
“Declawing is a barbaric practice that more often than not is done for the sake of convenience rather than necessity. Many countries worldwide acknowledge the inhumane nature of declawing, which causes extreme pain to cats. It’s time for New Jersey to join them.”
If you have a cat with a scratching problem, declawing should not be considered! Remember, scratching is a natural behavior and declawing a cat – by amputating the first knuckle on his paws – can cause permanent psychological and physical damage. Because scratching in cats is a normal and necessary behavior, it is not recommended that we keep our cats from scratching. Instead, what owners can do to resolve the scratching issue is by redirecting the scratching onto acceptable objects. Learn more by clicking here.
Would you support a ban on cat declawing?