In New Jersey, declawing cats might soon become a thing of the past. If the bill – which is sponsored by Assemblyman Troy Singelton – becomes law, the state will become the first in the U.S. to ban onychetomy, or the inhumane practice of removing a cat’s claws.
On Monday, the bill passed through an Assembly committee. According to New Jersey, the bill would add onychetomy to the list of criminal animal cruelty offenses. The only exception would be declawing for medical purposes, such as to remove a tumor or gangrene.
Singleton said in a statement after the hearing:
“Declawing is a barbaric practice that more often than not is done for the sake of convenience rather than necessity. Many countries worldwide acknowledge the inhumane nature of declawing, which causes extreme pain to cats. It’s time for New Jersey to join them.”
Any veterinarian that is caught declawing a cat and owners who seek the procedure out could face a fine of up to $1,000 or six months in jail. Violators could also face a civil penalty of up to $500 to $2,000.