A law that could make declawing a cat an animal cruelty crime is being sponsored by a New Jersey lawmaker who wants his state to be the first to outlaw the procedure known as onychetomy. Similar legislation is being considered in New York. Both proposed laws have the support of The Paw Project and cat-loving actors Norman Reedus and Ricky Gervais. Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-Burlington) is behind the push to make declawing illegal, according to a report on nj.com.
If the law is passed, a veterinarian who declaws a cat or any animal could face a fine of up to $1,000 or six months in jail. Violators could also be made to pay a fine ranging form $500 to $2,000, according to provisions in the bill. Exceptions would be made for declawing done for medical reasons.
Declawing “may be the quick answer but it’s not the humane one,” according to Hilary Beckett, Singleton’s chief of staff, who spoke to nj.com. “It’s almost akin to amputating the first knuckle on a human hand. It’s not just removing a claw, it’s part of the paw.”
Beckett said that Singleton read about similar legislation that was considered in New York and wants his state to get on board. The New York State Medical Society is fighting passage of the law in that state.
Seven cities in California, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, have banned declawing. For more information about declawing and efforts to ban it, you can visit the Facebook page for the Paw Project, which also helps to find homes for declawed cats and provides medical support for cats crippled by declawing.