Maryland second state to ban cat declawing

B.R. Shenoy

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"AVMA discourages declawing as an elective procedure and supports non-surgical alternatives. Declawing is a major surgery involving amputation and is not medically necessary for the cat in most cases." — The American Veterinary Medical Association website

After Gov. Larry Hogan signed House Bill 22 into law on April 21, it is now illegal to declaw cats in Maryland. Maryland's new law goes into effect on October 1.

While declaw bans are in place in several cities across the country, Maryland is only the second state to do so. In 2019, New York became the first.

Declawing is a major surgical procedure in which the last bone in a cat's toes is amputated entirely or partially. It can have long-term medical consequences and have a negative impact on behavior.

To make up for the loss of their protective claws, declawed cats are more likely to exhibit increased aggression and bite. Chronic pain, arthritis, balance problems, and back problems can all be caused by declawing.

According to the bill, veterinary practitioners have been prohibited from declawing a cat unless the procedure is “necessary for a therapeutic purpose.”

Veterinarians who violate the act face a $1,000 fine and discipline from the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.

Per, the Associated Press, veterinarians could face fines of up to $5,000 for a first offense and $10,000 for a second offense. The licenses of the veterinarians could also be suspended or revoked.

PETA and the American Veterinary Medical Association support the ban on declawing.

Several major cities in the United States, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Pittsburgh, Austin, and Madison, Wisconsin, have already banned cat declawing. Declawing is illegal in more than 40 countries outside of the United States, per The Washington Post.

What are your thoughts on cat declawing? Please share in the comments.

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