Singleton Bill to Ban Declawing of Cats Clears Committee

 Trenton – Legislation sponsored by Senator Troy Singleton, which would prohibit surgically declawing cats and other animals, cleared the Senate Environment and Energy Committee today.

“Declawing a cat is a cruel practice that more often than not is done for the sake of convenience rather than a necessity,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington).  “Nationwide, cities have enacted laws to prohibit this inhumane procedure, and it is time for New Jersey to put an end to it once and for all.”

The bill, S-920, would prohibit a person from performing a declawing procedure by any means on a cat or other animal. The procedure could be necessary by a licensed veterinarian if a medical procedure is needed to take place, such as removing a cancerous tumor. The bill includes the requirement that any person who violates this provision would be guilty of a disorderly person’s offense, which is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, a term of imprisonment of up to six months, or both. A violator would also be subject to a civil penalty of between $500 and $2,000.

“Declawing is seen by many as a quick fix for unwanted scratching by cats. However, these invasive procedures are medically unnecessary and can cause lasting physical problems and other consequences for cats,” continued Singleton.

The State of New York and several major cities nationwide have banned the practice.

The bill was released from committee by a vote of 3-0.