New Jersey would be the first U.S. state to make declawing cat illegal if this new bill passes.
Bill A3899 is being considered by New Jersey lawmakers and would make declawing cats a criminal animal cruelty charge. The only way around this would be if the declawing were deemed medically necessary.
Any vet found to have declawed a cat could face $1,000 in fines or six months jail time, and pet owners could face a $500 to $2,000 penalty.
Currently, declawing a cat is considered illegal in numerous countries across the world including England, Austria, and Australia but it's still legal here in the States. Some California cities have managed to pass a ban on declawing.
While the bill's sponsor, Democratic Assemblyman Troy Singleton, believes that declawing cats is a barbaric practice that is done simply for the cat owner's convenience, some veterinarians disagree.
A spokesperson for the American Veterinary Association has made a statement saying that the new techniques that have been developed for declawing cats makes it as painless as cutting your finger nails. Advocates of the bill say that declawing cats is unnecessary since it's easy to train cats to scratch on dedicated scratching posts rather than furniture.
One big concern opponents of this proposed bill have is the potential for cat populations in shelters to increase. If owners are not able to declaw their cats they may decide to bring them to a shelter if any issues with scratching arise.
The bill is currently headed to the New Jersey state Senate for review, leading to a decision in the upcoming months.
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