Arizona House committee approved a bill that would ban pet owners from declawing their cats


An Arizona House panel voted to give a 10-3 approval to a bill that would make it illegal to declaw cats. HB 2224 proposes to impose fines on any veterinarian who performs the procedure unless it is for therapeutic purposes. Veterinarians who violate the law could face license suspension and fines up to $1,500.

The bill is sponsored by Democratic Representative Amish Shah of Phoenix. Shah said:

With all the research and science that we have accumulated on this topic, it is cruel, it is mutilation, and it needs to stop

Declawing process involves amputation of the last third of the finger at the joint. Once considered a standard procedure, declawing is now widely condemned by several veterinarians. Studies show declawed cats are at higher risk for aggressive behavior, trouble using the litter box and back pain.

Recently, Maryland became the second state to ban cat declawing after New York. It is already outlawed in cities such as Los Angeles, St Louis, Madison, West Hollywood, Austin, Denver, Beverly Hills and Berkeley.

The bill will now move on to the full house for consideration. If it is approved by the house, it will move to the Arizona State Senate and closer to becoming law.

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