A bill has passed the assembly committee in New Jersey in an attempt to ban the declawing of cats. Should the bill be in command, it would make New Jersey the first state in the country to have banned the practice. The Assemblyman Troy Singleton was the one who sponsored the bill, which has passed by the committee on Nov. 14.
The practice would cost veterinarians in Garden State a $1,000 fine, along with six months of prison, as criminalizing the declawing would make it fall under the laws of animal cruelty.
Declawing Soon To Be Illegal
One of the reasons in support for this claim is the possibility to cause nerve damage and bone spurs in the animals, as claws are essentially part of the cats' bones. A second argument in favor of this bill was the idea to preserve the integrity of the animal's body, sometimes at the expense of the furry animal scratching different surfaces in our homes.
Consequently, aside from the potential physical damage caused in the animal, declawing comes together with a series of unwanted side effects, such as the cat being less likely to use the litter box, or more likely to bite.
The bill has the complete support of The Humane Society, which only advises for declawing the animals when it is medically recommended for the greater good of it, such as in the case of cancerous tumors. According to them, scratching is a normal behavior in a cat, and suppressing it could lead to other antisocial behaviors in these animals.
A common reason for cat declawing comes from people with immunodeficiency, who are afraid of contracting different diseases. However, as it turns out, cats are more likely to manifest aggressive behaviors once their claws were cut, which could lead to even more severe consequences in their immunodeficient owners.
"No person shall perform, or cause to be performed, an onychectomy (declawing) or flexor tendonectomy procedure by any means on a cat or other animal, unless the procedure is deemed necessary for a therapeutic purpose by a licensed veterinarian," the bill states.
However, the bill did not pass with an unanimity of votes, as there were assemblymen who are cat owners and trust the procedure, stating that before declawing them, the cats caused $600 worth of damage.
While the procedure is quite common, there are also veterinarians who advise against it, refusing to perform this procedure on the furry animals and arguing that the very idea of doing this is inhumane and misguided.