Connecticut considers ban on cat declaws

Connecticut considers ban on cat declaws

Apr 01, 2008

Hartford, Conn. — Veterinary medicine's leaders oppose a bill that seeks to outlaw non-therapeutic cat declawing in Connecticut and strip the licenses of DVMs caught violating the ban.

If passed, Connecticut would become the first state to deem feline onychectomy illegal, excluding cases of medical necessity.

On Feb. 25, the state's General Assembly heard testimony on HB 5656 from Dr. Eva Ceranowicz, Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) president, who spoke against the bill. The public hearing also featured animal advocates who consider declawing inhumane.

At press time, the bill was moved to the chamber's Committee on Environment. Ceranowicz says she hopes committee members will recognize that such language encroaches on relationships between clients and veterinarians.

"We're talking about destructive cats," she says. "If clients don't have the option to declaw, people are going to put them down, put them in a shelter or put them out. And there are some people who for health reasons don't want cats scratching them."

Ceranowicz notes that DVMs counsel clients on risks associated with feline onychectomy, including the use of pain medications.

"With the advances in pain medication that we use nowadays, I don't understand how this is inhumane. This bill basically says that we as veterinarians are not concerned about animals, and I think that's wrong," she says.