If bill passes, declawing your cat would be illegal in New Jersey

By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — New Jersey may soon join the state of New York and other major cities across the country in banning the declawing of animals like cats. 

A proposed bill prohibiting the medical procedure is currently moving through the state legislature. 

State Sen. Troy Singleton of Delran, who is sponsoring Senate Bill 920, said the law would prohibit claw removal unless medically necessary, like to extract a cancerous tumor.

“Declawing is seen by many as a quick fix for unwanted scratching by cats. However, these invasive procedures are medically unnecessary and can cause lasting physical problems and other consequences for cats,” he explained.

Animal rights activists also say that declawing is cruel and painful to the animals.

Violators would face a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail. The law would also impose civil penalties between $500 and $2,000. 

The legislation passed in the New Jersey Senate Environment and Energy Committee on Monday, 3-0. But it still has a while to go before it becomes law. It has to pass the full Senate and Assembly, and then must be signed by Gov. Phil Murphy.

Those who oppose the ban argue that declawing could be the difference between life and death. If the owner doesn't want the animal in the home — because it is damaging furniture, scratching people or the like — and it cannot be declawed, then the animal could be surrendered to a shelter, where it may end up being euthanized.