Bill That Would Prohibit Declawing of Cats in Illinois Passes State House

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NBC10 Boston

A bill that would make declawing cats illegal outside of an established therapeutic purpose passed the Illinois House on Thursday, advancing the bill to the Illinois Senate for further consideration.

The legislation amends the "Humane Care for Animals Act", with the amendment 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 one lawmaker voting present. Six members of the Illinois House did not vote on the measure.

Proponents of the legislation compared the declawing process to amputation, calling the procedure inhumane and unnecessary.

According to NBC affiliate WAND, Rep. Charlie Meier, who opposed the legislation, said 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 said. "In some cases, this is very necessary. And there are pain medicines that these cats are given if this has to be done."

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy balked at Meier's suggestion, according to WAND.

"Imagine the idea that you're willing to remove body parts in order to have a cat in your life," Cassidy said. "I'm stunned at the prior speaker's assertions."

If the bill passes the Senate, the legislation will head to Gov. J.B. Pritzker's desk where it could potentially be signed into law.

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