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.

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.

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

Comments (5)
  1. King Julian says:

    Declaw a cat illegal, kill a baby OK. Priorities legislators.

  2. Veronica Pond says:

    Please do NOT pass this bill! ALL my cats have been declawed. NONE have suffered any repercussions! If you pass this bill, then I can NEVER EVER again adopt another cat. Would you rather cats sit in shelters and/or be euthanized instead?

  3. Shirley Swaine says:

    America and Canada are the only developed countries to perform this disgusting and barbaric mutilation electively. In all other developed countries such mutilation regarded as such horrific cruelty, it is a criminal offence. Elective declawing (ditto ear-cropping or debarking dogs) has NEVER been performed here in the UK and we’ve all survived, just as people with dogs survive when their dogs rip the entire sofa to pieces or jump up in greeting and rake their legs with their claws. Of course it should be banned, it’s a no-brainer, in a civilised country it should never have been allowed in the first place.

    1. Frank Van Horn says:

      You live in the UK? Let us worry about our country and you worry about yours.

  4. Any veterinarian that still declaws today is psychologically sick.

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