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Florida looks to ban declawing cats, following New York’s lead


Florida has proposed a bill that would ban declawing cats unless medically necessary. (TranceDrumer/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

This could be claw-some news for cats in the Sunshine State.

A Florida state senator has proposed a bill that would ban declawing kitties unless medically necessary, a move that mirrors a similar bill signed by Gov. Cuomo last month that made New York the first state to outlaw the hiss-worthy practice.

The Florida bill, filed by Sen. Lauren Book last week, has been proposed to be considered for the 2020 legislative session.

The bill would require that “a person may not perform a declawing by any means on a cat within this state unless the procedure is necessary for a therapeutic purpose.”

If passed as is, a person who’s not a vet and violates the bill would have to pay a penalty up to $1,000 for each violation, effective July 1 of next year. A licensed vet would be subject to disciplinary action, which can include denial of a license, revocation or suspension of a license, a fine of up to $5,000 for each offense, and being required to undergo remedial education.

New York’s bill comes with a $1,000 fine for anyone caught declawing a cat without a legitimate medical reason.

“Declawing is cruel and painful,” Cuomo said when he signed the bill on July 22. “By banning this archaic practice, we will ensure that animals are no longer subjected to these inhumane and unnecessary procedures.”

Some cat owners have historically declawed cats to prevent them from scratching, and therefore ruining, furniture. The ASPCA states on its site that it’s “strongly opposed to declawing cats for the convenience of their owners or to prevent damage to household property.”

The animal rights group adds that the “declawing of cats, or onychectomy, is the amputation of the last digital bone, including the nail bed and claw, on each front toe.”