New Jersey To Become the First US State to Ban the Declawing of Cats

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A new bill banning the declawing of cats is close to being put in place, making New Jersey the first state to criminalize the practice.

This new measure announced by the state means that cats will no longer undergo the cruel surgery associated with declawing.

It might come as a surprise to most that the practice of onychectomy, otherwise known as declawing, has been carried out here in the U.S. for over fifty years, despite many other countries banning the procedure altogether.

The bill has been brought forward to prevent veterinary practices from carrying out the harmful surgery as it can cause serious complications to a cat’s health.

Special permission to carry out the surgery can still be granted for “therapeutic” cases, where the cat’s health is at risk.

Anyone involved or caught trying to go ahead with the surgery that isn’t classed as “therapeutic” could face a fine of $1,000 or 6 months behind bars.

According to the A3899 bill summary, anyone who breaches the act could also have to pay up a whopping $2,000 as a civil penalty.

Owners usually take their cats to be declawed to stop them from scratching, be it inside the home or people. But it can actually cause extreme distress by taking away their ability to do something that comes naturally to them.

While you might think declawing is just removing bothersome nails, it actually requires a painful surgery that removes part of the cat’s bone attached to the nail to stop them from growing back.

Like all animal welfare organizations, the American Association of Feline Practitioners is strongly against this unethical procedure…

As per the AVMA, their policy states that “feline declawing is ethically controversial, unnecessary in most instances, and a response to behaviors cats inherit and learn.”
However, there are many other alternatives that are just as effective, without causing unnecessary suffering.