New Jersey has become the first U.S. state to pass a bill that aims to ban cat declawing.
The bill, which is sponsored by Assemblyman Troy Singelton, was recently passed through an assembly committee. If the bill is officially signed into law, it would add cat declawing (medically known as onychectomy) to the list of animal cruelty offenses. The only exception would be if declawing was needed for a necessary medical purpose, such as to remove an invasive foreign body.
According to bill A3899, veterinarians who get caught practicing onychectomy will either be fined $1,000 or spend six months in jail. Other violators will be fined $500 – $2,000.
Some cat owners decide to have vets declaw their cats to prevent their pets from destroying furniture or household objects. However, it has been proven that cat declawing is a painful process, both physically and mentally. It involves cutting the bone which attaches to the nail. Many countries in Europe have either banned the practice of onychectomy or have labelled it as “inhumane.”
The declawing process is an “invasive surgery” and affects cats forever. When they feel the urge to scratch, they can’t.
“Declawing is a barbaric practice that more often than not is done for the sake of convenience rather than necessity,” Singelton said in a statement after the hearing. “Many countries worldwide acknowledge the inhumane nature of declawing, which causes extreme pain to cats. It’s time for New Jersey to join them.”
Countries that have banned cat declawing include:
- New Zealand
- Northern Ireland
Bill A3899 still has to be passed by the Senate. Let’s get the United States to join that list!