Illinois Should Ban Cat Declawing: Letter


March 18, 2023

Letter to the Editor

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For the editor:

As a world leader in the movement to protect and improve the lives of cats and kittens, Alley Cat Allies has helped many cats suffering from the unnecessary and cruel procedure known as declawing. It should be called deknuckling. Often the only recourse for these mutilated cats is aggressive lifelong pain management or surgery to save as much of the mutilated paw as possible. But the damage caused by declawing can never be fully repaired.

The only way to protect cats is to ban the procedure altogether, as Illinois lawmakers can do by passing HB 1533, currently before the legislature.

Declawing surgery is the unnecessary, cruel and inhumane surgical amputation of the last joints of a cat’s toes – up to 18 amputations in total. The bones, tendons, nerves and ligaments of each leg are all severed. Declawed cats are more likely to lose their homes for behavioral reasons caused by the declawing itself.

The Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association says this bill threatens the veterinary profession. Preventing unnecessary suffering and surgery is not a real threat to the profession, but rather reinforces the veterinarian’s oath to alleviate animal suffering. That’s why many veterinarians across the country support laws to end declawing.

Corinne Julien

Bethesda, Maryland

Coryn Julien is Director of Communications for Alley Cat Allies.

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