LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan legislator has introduced a bill that, if eventually passed and signed, would prohibit the declawing of cats unless it is for a clear medical or therapeutic reason.
The Detroit News reported Friday that House Bill No. 5508 could make Michigan the second state to ban declawing cats, following New York.
State Rep. Nate Shannon, a Sterling Heights Democrat, introduced the proposal on Thursday with the backing of at least 20 other lawmakers. It's been referred to the Committee on Agriculture.
Under the proposed bill, those who break the declawing law could be fined up to $1,000.
Some pet owners declaw their cats in hopes of preventing unwanted scratching inside a home.
But the Humane Society of the United States says declawing for a cat is akin to cutting off part of a person's finger. It says the procedure is “unnecessary surgery that provides no medical benefit to the cat.”
The National and Michigan Humane Society also opposes declawing unless it is for a medical purpose.
The Detroit News reports that declawing a cat is unlawful in Los Angeles, Denver and San Francisco. And it is illegal in much of Europe.