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Lawmakers Kill Bill That Would Have Outlawed Cat Declawing

Stavrolo/Creative Commons

Cat declawing will remain legal in New Hampshire after state lawmakers voted down a bill to ban the procedure.

Though not a widespread practice, supporters of HB 1387 described the procedure, which involves removing the last joint of a cat’s toe, as painful and unnatural.

“Cats are born with claws; there’s a reason for that,” Rep. Charlie St. Claire of Laconia told House colleagues on Wednesday. He added that cat owners upset about scratched furniture shouldn’t own a cat.

But opponents of the ban, including Rep. Judy Aron of South Acworth, told colleagues that declawing should be a decision made by pet owners and their veterinarians.

“If this bill is enacted, it would restrict the rights of animal owners and eliminate a useful choice when dealing with a cat who has a chronic scratching issue,” she said.

After approximately 15 minutes of debate, the bill failed on a 198-157 vote. 

Currently, New York is the only state that prohibits declawing.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.
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