Cat declawing could become illegal in Arizona

An Arizona House committee has approved a bill that would ban pet owners from declawing their cats.

HB 2224 would impose fines on any veterinarian that performs the procedure unless it is for therapeutic purposes.

"With all the research and science that we have accumulated on this topic, it is cruel, it is mutilation, and it needs to stop," said Arizona State Representative Amish Shah.

Declawing cats involves the surgical removal of the third bone - or the first "knuckle" of a cat's toes, and has been condemned by the Humane Society and the ASPCA as an unnecessary treatment. 

The bill has also met some criticism, with some saying it's the owner's choice if they want the procedure done.

Some argue that not being able to declaw cats might dissuade some people from adopting them.

The bill now heads to the full House for consideration.

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