New Jersey is on track to become the first state here in the U.S. to ban declawing cats...
This incredible feat for animal welfare means that cats will no longer face the painful and unnecessary surgery that comes with declawing.
This horrible practice has already been banned in some countries across Europe, such as England, Italy, France, Germany, just to name a few. But here in the U.S., it's still pretty common.
The bill would add onychectomy — the medical term for declawing — to the list of animal cruelty offenses.
However, there would be exceptions for medical purposes, where the claw or claws jeopardizes the cat's health.
Thanks to the bill, veterinarians caught declawing a cat, or people who seek out the procedure will face a fine of up to $1,000 or 6 months in jail.
There is also a civil penalty of between $500 to $2,000, according to the A3899 bill.
The procedure is usually done to prevent cats from damaging furniture or household items, especially in the early years of their lives.
As declawing isn't just trimming nails, many people see it as a form of animal cruelty. It's a surgery that amputates the last bone on each of a cat's toes, much like cutting off our fingertips. The surgery is painful and can have harmful long-term effects.
The medical director for the Monmouth County SPCA, Nicole Feddersen, called it an "invasive surgery," that puts cats "at risk for pain and lameness."
"Declawing is a barbaric practice that more often than not is done for the sake of convenience rather than necessity," New Jersey Assemblyman Troy Singleton said in a statement. "Many countries worldwide acknowledge the inhumane nature of declawing, which causes extreme pain to cats. It's time for New Jersey to join them."
Let's hope this ban spreads to other cities and countries as well!