Proposed New Jersey Legislature Could Bring Prison Time for Declawing Cats

New Jersey assemblyman Troy Singleton sponsored legislation this past week that would make declawing cats a criminal offense and subject the performing veterinarian to an animal cruelty charge. Even the individuals who seek out a veterinarian to perform the procedure could be subject to the same, or similar, charges. Violators would face criminal penalties of fines up to $1,000 or six months in prison, and additional civil charges of $500 to $2,000.

Declawing is a procedure that is done on cats to prevent "unwanted" behavioral problems, like clawing furniture. However, the procedure is considered cruel and barbaric, and involves amputating the cat's toe at the point of the first knuckle, not simply removing a nail or nail bed. This cruel procedure is unnecessary with proper, humane behavior modification techniques, which you can learn more about here. It should be noted that there are some rare medical cases that require or warrant the procedure of declawing a cat, any of which would be exempt from the proposed law.

New Jersey will be the first state to make declawing cats illegal if the bill is signed into law before the similar legislature that has been proposed in New York. Fortunately, however, there are cities in California, including Beverly Hills, Berkeley, Burbank, Santa Monica, San Francisco, Culver City, and Los Angeles. You can learn more about the proposed legislature and how to support it by visiting the NJ.com Politics Section.

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