Bill Prohibiting the Declawing of Cats in Illinois Passed State House

The stage has been set for the state of Illinois to become part of the growing trend to ban the controversial procedure known as cat declawing, and animal activists couldn’t be happier.

If enacted, the proposed bill would essentially make it illegal to declaw cats outside of an established therapeutic purpose. While it passed the Illinois House recently, this does not make it a law yet. In order for that to happen, it will need the approval of the Illinois Senate, which will be viewing it for further consideration.

cat's claws
Photo: Pixabay/birgl

Humane Care for Animals Act

This new legislation amends the “Humane Care for Animals Act” with the purpose of outlawing “surgical claw removal, declawing, or a tendonectomy on any cat or otherwise alter a cat’s toes, claws, or paws to prevent or impair the normal function of the cat’s toes, claws, or paws.”

The amendment passed the Illinois House 67-38, with six members of the House who abstained from voting on the measure.

The main reason people get their cats declawed is to save their furniture from being shredded, but there are many other ways to achieve that end short of something as extreme as ripping their toenails out.

Proponents of the legislation are said to have compared the declawing process to amputation, saying the procedure was inhumane and unnecessary.

cat's paws
Photo: Pixabay/Naturell

Animal Welfare

According to NBC News affiliate WAND, Rep. Charlie Meier opposed the legislation, saying that senior citizens who own cats could be prone to infections from a scratch.

“I actually know a person who was scratched by their cat and for a month and a half had to fight to keep their hand,” Meier stated. “In some cases, this is very necessary. And there are pain medicines that these cats are given if this has to be done.”

cat claws
Photo: Pixabay/rihaij

Illinois Senate

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy wasn’t buying Meier’s rationale, saying, “Imagine the idea that you’re willing to remove body parts in order to have a cat in your life. I’m stunned at the prior speaker’s assertions.”

If the bill ultimately passes the Senate, the legislation will then head to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, where it could potentially be signed into law. With the overwhelming support for the bill in the House, supporters have reason to be optimistic it will pass the Senate as well. From there, there’s no real reason Pritzker would deny it, but nothing’s written in stone as of yet.

People, Pets & Planet

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