Declawing cats, unless medically necessary, would be banned under a bill proposed for the 2020 legislative session by Sen. Lauren Book.
The Plantation Democrat’s measure (SB 48) mirrors a plan recently enacted in New York.
The New York law, signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on July 22, imposes a $1,000 fine on veterinarians that perform the procedure.
Under Book’s proposal, Florida veterinarians that declaw cats unless it’s medically necessary would face a $1,000 fine and be subject to disciplinary action by the Board of Veterinary Medicine.
The legislation includes exceptions for “recurring illness, infection, disease, injury or abnormal condition” which compromises a cat’s health.
In New York, the law was backed by the Humane Society of the United States and opposed by the New York State Veterinary Medical Society, which argued declawing should remain an option when the alternative is abandonment or euthanasia.
While the surgical procedure is popular, it can cause cats problems in the long run. Jennifer Galloway, an executive at Gulf Coast Humane Society, said she supports the bill.
“It can cause a lifetime of problems from going to the bathroom, from walking to consistent pain,” Galloway said. “There’s all those problems that these pets can have.”
While others say banning the procedure goes too far.
“I wouldn’t personally declaw my cat,” Anne Brown said. “But, I think other people should have the right to do it if they feel the need.”