Bill Prohibiting the Declawing of Cats in Illinois Passed State House

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.

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.

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."

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.

Rebecca West

Rebecca is a writer and editor for both print and digital with a love for travel, history, archaeology, trivia, and architecture. Much of her writing has focused on human and animal health and welfare. A life-long pet owner, she has taken part in fostering dogs for military members during deployment and given many rescued and surrendered dogs the forever home they always wanted. Her two favorite canine quotes are, "Be the kind of person your dog thinks you are," and "My dog rescued me."

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