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Maryland becomes 2nd US state to ban cat declawing

Maryland has become the second US state to ban cat declawing, behind New York.
Maryland has become the second US state to ban cat declawing, behind New York.(w-ings/Getty Images Signature via Canva)
Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 4:04 PM EDT
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(Gray News) - It is now illegal to declaw cats in the state of Maryland after Gov. Larry Hogan signed the bill into law Thursday.

While several cities around the U.S. have a declaw ban in place, Maryland is only the second state to ban the procedure. New York became the first in 2019.

The law prohibits any veterinary practitioners from performing declawing procedures on a cat unless the procedure is “necessary for a therapeutic purpose.”

The bill states that anyone who violates the law is subject of a fine up to $1,000.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, declawing is an inhumane practice that involves the amputation of the last bone of each toe, which would be equivalent to removing a human’s fingers at the last knuckle.

“Too often, people think that declawing is a simple surgery that removes a cat’s nails—the equivalent of having your fingernails trimmed. Sadly, this is far from the truth,” the Humane Society’s website reads. “It is an unnecessary surgery that provides no medical benefit to the cat. Educated pet parents can easily train their cats to use their claws in a manner that allows everyone in the household to live together happily.”

The new law in Maryland takes effect Oct. 1.

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