Bill Banning Cat Declawing in Illinois Passes State House – NBC Chicago
A bill that would make it illegal to declaw cats outside of an established therapeutic purpose passed the Illinois House on Thursday, sending the bill to the Illinois Senate for further consideration.
The legislation amends the Humane Care for Animals Act, with the amendment prohibiting “the surgical removal of claws, declawing or tendonectomy on any cat or otherwise modifying a cat’s toes, claws or paws to prevent or alter the normal functioning of the cat. toes, claws or paws.”
The amendment passed the Illinois House 67 to 38, with one voting member present. Six members of the Illinois House did not vote on the measure.
Proponents of the legislation have likened the declawing process to amputation, calling the procedure inhumane and unnecessary.
According to NBC affiliate WAND, Representative Charlie Meier, who opposed the legislation, said seniors who own cats could be prone to infections from a scratch.
“I actually know one person who got scratched by their cat and had to fight for a month and a half to keep their hand,” Meier said. “In some cases it’s very necessary. And there are pain medications these cats get if it needs to be done.”
State Representative Kelly Cassidy balked at Meier’s suggestion, according to WAND.
“Imagine the idea that you’re willing to remove body parts to have a cat in your life,” Cassidy said. “I am stunned by the claims of the previous speaker.”
If the bill passes the Senate, the legislation will head to Governor JB Pritzker’s office where it could potentially be signed into law.