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Cruel Practice of Declawing Cats Just Became Illegal in Another State

Declawing cats has long been a controversial procedure. The U.S. Human Society says that most declawing is misguided, painful, and done mostly for the benefit of human owners, with little regard to the cat itself. It also has the potential to discourage a cat from using the litter box and might even turn a cat into a biter.

In 2019, New York became the first state to ban declawing unless medically necessary. Just this past Thursday, the Maryland House followed suit, voting and passing similar legislation. A basically identical bill passed the state's Senate in February and should be headed to the governor for signature into law.

The law will prohibit veterinarians from performing declawing procedures for aesthetic and cosmetic reasons, as well as for the convenience of the owners. Any veterinarian who performs such a procedure will face a fine of up to $5,000 upon first offense and up to $10,000 for a second offense. Additionally, vets could face suspension or revocation of their license if they perform declawing without reason.

The U.S. Humane Society writes on their website that "Many countries have banned declawing. The Humane Society of the United States opposes declawing except for the rare cases when it is necessary for medical purposes, such as the removal of cancerous nail bed tumors."

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Maryland's passing of this legislation points to a growing concern for animal cruelty in the United States. Hopefully, other states will soon begin to follow suit to save many more cats from this cruel, unnecessary procedure.

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