Rhode Island Bill Would Prohibit Declawing All Animals

Rhode Island House Bill 7574, cross-filed with Senate Bill 2445, would prohibit any person from “perform[ing] or caus[ing] to be performed, an onychectomy (declawing) or flexor tendonectomy procedure by any means on a cat or other animal, unless the procedure is deemed necessary for therapeutic purpose by a licensed veterinarian.” The American Veterinary Medical Association “condemns” the declawing of big cats and recently revised its position on declawing domesticated cats to discourage the partial amputation procedure unless medically necessary. Declawing also has been recognized by federal courts as a violation of the Endangered Species Act when performed on protected species. The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.