(ANIMAL NEWS/CATS) In a historic move, New Jersey is on its way to becoming the first state to ever ban cat declawing.

Although many pet parents go forward with this common procedure to stop unwanted cat behavior like clawing on furniture or scratching during playtime, cat declawing is actually incredibly cruel and barbaric.

Not only is the inhumane practice considered to be the equivalent of amputating a human finger at the third knuckle, but it can also reap serious behavioral and physical consequences.

In fact, 22 countries all over the world have banned cat declawing. The procedure only remains prevalent throughout the U.S. due to general ignorance and perpetuation by greedy veterinarians who reap tremendous financial gain from the practice.

We applaud New Jersey for joining these 22 countries in taking a stand against this invasive surgery. Read on to learn more about the bill and reasons to support the legislation. — Global Animal

Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Lucky Business
While 33 countries worldwide have banned the practice of declawing cats, it’s still completely legal throughout the United States. Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Lucky Business

New York Post, Chris Perez

Paw-some news: New Jersey could soon become the very first state in the country to outlaw the practice of declawing cats.

The Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee cleared a bill on Monday that would add onychectomy — the medical term for removing a feline’s claws — to the list of criminal animal cruelty offenses, according to NJ.com.

Any veterinarians who are caught declawing a cat or anyone who requests the procedure would ultimately face a fine of up to $1,000 or at least six months behind bars.

Violators could also be slapped with a civil penalty of $500 to $2,000, as well.

Cat claws are embedded within their bones. Photo Credit: pawprojectmovie.com
Cat claws are embedded within their bones. Declawing a cat is the equivalent of cutting off a human finger at the third knuckle. Photo Credit: pawprojectmovie.com

“Declawing is a barbaric practice that more often than not is done for the sake of convenience rather than necessity,” said Assemblyman Troy Singleton, who sponsored the bill.

“Many countries worldwide acknowledge the inhumane nature of declawing, which causes extreme pain to cats. It’s time for New Jersey to join them.”

For years, animal welfare organizations have petitioned against declawing — saying it’s painful and unnecessary.

Many supporters told the committee of instances where cats would suffer from personality changes and discomfort using litter boxes after they had their claws removed.

“{It’s an] invasive surgery,” Nicole Feddersen, medical director for the Monmouth County SPCA, told NJ.com, adding that it leaves the animals “at risk for pain and lameness.”

"The Paw Project" is a documentary that explores the harms of declawing your cat. Photo credit: catster.com
“The Paw Project” is a documentary that explores the harms of declawing your cat. Photo credit: catster.com

“A cat still has urge to scratch but cannot,” she said.

While most supported the legislation, there were some critics who felt that a ban on declawing cats could lead to an increase in euthanizations.

“We are not pro-declaw, but we want to prevent them from being relinquished,” explained Middletown veterinarian Michael Yurkus, who is a member of the New Jersey Veterinary Association.

“We feel this is between a licensed vet and the client, and should not be regulated by the government.”

Assemblyman Parker Space, who voted against the bill, agreed — citing his own family’s experiences with their pet cat, who caused $600 worth of damage to his home.

“It was either getting declawed or going back to the shelter,” where it would more than likely be put down, he said.

More New York Post: http://nypost.com/2016/11/16/new-jersey-proposes-ban-on-declawing-cats/