ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — State lawmakers are considering legislation that would make it illegal for veterinarians to declaw cats except under certain circumstances.

HB445 would prohibit vets from performing declawing procedures unless they’re needed for “therapeutic purposes,” which the bill describes as procedures that are necessary for the cat’s health or well-being.

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Under the bill, vets who don’t comply with the law could face a fine and have their license revoked or suspended.

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A fiscal and policy analysis of the bill found it would have little financial impact on state government but could affect veterinarians’ businesses. That impact may not be significant, the analysis found, since many shelters and veterinarians no longer perform declawings unless they are deemed necessary.

The bill is working its way through the House; it has not been introduced in the Senate.

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If it becomes law, the legislation would take effect on October 1.