Lawmakers in Maryland Push to Ban Vets From Declawing Cats

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Declawing Cats are the human equivalent of cutting off a finger at the last knuckle.

Recently, some lawmakers in Maryland have been hoping to make it illegal for veterinarians to declaw cats. Declawing is an operation done to remove an animal’s claws, usually by means of amputation. The amount amputated of the claw would be the equivalent of cutting off a human’s finger at their last knuckle. Declawing can lead to negative side effects, such as pains in the paw, infections, and even tissue necrosis, the death of body tissue. After taking note of this, the Maryland House of Representatives is working to ban this cruel treatment.
On March 10, 2022, the Maryland House of Representatives voted to pass a bill that would essentially ban declawing. The bill was aimed to prevent veterinarians “from performing certain declawing procedures on a cat unless the procedure is necessary for a therapeutic purpose.” Offenders of this bill would face hefty fines of up to one thousand dollars, as well as “discipline from the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.”
New York is the only other state to ban declawing, thanks to a bill that was signed into law back in 2019. During the passing of the bill, Andrew Cuomo, the New York Governor at the time, stated that “By banning this archaic practice, we will ensure that animals are no longer subjected to these inhumane and unnecessary procedures.” The passing of the bill would mean that Maryland would be the second state to ban the practice of declawing. Maryland isn’t the only state taking steps to ban declawing, Massachusetts has also considered voting on bills that would ban declawing.
Many other countries have already taken action against the practice of declawing cats. The United Kingdom, Israel, and Switzerland have all banned declawing, as it causes unnecessary pain and long-term health problems for cats due to their sensory and motor nerves in their paws being cut. Rather than ruining a cat’s livelihood, the American Veterinary Medical Association suggests providing a cat with a dedicated scratching spot or having frequent nail trimming instead of going through with declawing. The Humane Society also has some alternatives to declawing. One of these alternatives are Soft Paws. Soft Paws are nail caps made out of vinyl that would be glued onto a cat’s claws to prevent them scratching things. Despite how uncomfortable that sounds, it is reported that cats tolerate them very well. According to them, these vinyl nail caps are easy to apply at home. More importantly, they are very humane.