Declawing Cats Now Illegal in Maryland
Violators could face fines and sanctions from the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.
Maryland became the second U.S. state to ban the declawing of cats unless it is for health-related reasons. In 2019, New York passed a similar decree.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed Bill HB0022 into law, prohibiting veterinarians "from performing certain declawing procedures on a cat unless the procedure is necessary for a therapeutic purpose." Veterinarians who will violate could face fines of up to $1,000 and sanctions from the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. The law takes effect on Oct. 1, 2022.
Declawed cats can show increased aggression and biting to compensate for losing their protective claws. The Humane Society of the United States stated that declawing "involves the amputation of the last bone of each toe," likening the process to "cutting off each finger at the last knuckle" on a human. Declawing may result in chronic pain, arthritis, balance issues, and back problems.back