Support New Jersey's Anti-Declaw Bill S920 (Singleton) - A1087 (Murphy)

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Thank you, New Jersey Senator Troy Singleton and Assemblymember Carol Murphy, for introducing legislation that would add onychectomy, or declawing, to the list of animal cruelty offenses in New Jersey.  Those who perform declawing would face a stiff fine, according to the provisions of the New Jersey Anti-Declaw Bill S920 and Anti-Declaw Bill A1087.

Declawing is amputation, whether performed by scalpel, clippers, or laser. We believe there is never a reason to declaw for non-therapeutic reasons (that is, unless surgery were necessary to treat animals' medical conditions).  Declawing does not keep cats in homes, a fact acknowledged by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).   The state of New York has banned declawing.  Eight cities in California - Los Angeles, San Francisco, West Hollywood, Burbank, Santa Monica, Berkeley, Beverly Hills, and Culver City - plus Denver, Colorado and St. Louis, Missouri have enacted declaw bans. Statistics publicly available from those cities indicate that the relinquishment of cats to shelters in those cities, in the years since the bans were enacted, has not increased - in fact, the number of cats dumped in shelters has DECREASED consistently in the eight to 14 years since the laws went into effect.

Mars Veterinary Health, which operates the 2000+ VCA and Banfield veterinary clinics throughout the United states, consider declawing to be inhumane and no longer allow its 10,000+ veterinarian perform declaw surgery.  The American Association of Feline Practitioners no longer allow veterinarians in their certified Cat Friendly to perform declawing.

There is no reason to declaw cats to protect human health.  The NIH, CDC, US Public Health Service, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the Canadian Medical Association, all have specifically stated that the declawing is "not advised," even for the animals of persons who are severely immunocompromised, including those with HIV.  This opinion is echoed in statements on declawing published by the AAHA and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP).  

Thank you, Assemblymember Murphy and Senator Singleton, we hope your bills will be successful and will be a model for humane legislation in other states.