January 28, 2020 – The Florida Anti-Declaw Bill, SB 48, passed the Florida Senate Agriculture Committee Hearing with a 4-1 vote. The bill was introduced by State Senator Lauren Book and is similar to Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal‘s Anti-Declaw bill, which was recently enacted as the first Anti-Declaw law in the nation. The bill will need to pass two more Senate Committee votes before being sent to the state House of Representatives. The bill provides exceptions only to address “an existing or recurring illness, infection, disease, injury, or abnormal condition of the cat which compromises the cat’s health.”
“This is a great victory for Florida cats,” said Paw Project-Florida Director Dr. Mitsie Vargas, “I am happy that our politicians want to honor the requests of animal lovers to stop this cruel practice. As a veterinarian and a cat advocate, I support them in their efforts.”
“It’s a common misconception that declawing causes no harm and that it’s as simple as cutting off a cat’s fingernails,” Senator Lauren Book said, “It would be like if we took our own hands and cut off the first joint in our fingers. This process severs tendons, nerves and ligaments and causes the cat’s claws to not properly function in its daily life. Declawing can lead to intense, chronic pain and other serious medical issues that can make life for a cat unbearable.”
The Paw Project thanks Senator Book, and Legislative Aide Shirley Sharon, and HSUS-Florida state director Kate MacFall …and everyone else who supported this bill.
Anti-Declaw Bills are active in California, New Hampshire, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and West Virginia in 2020 (with more bills likely to be introduced this year) in addition to the New York bill recently signed into law.