Declaw Your Cat in Israel, Spend a Year in Prison

...and pay a $20K fine, too
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2011 9:13 AM CST
Declaw a cat in Israel, and go to jail.   (?Kurt and Sybilla)

(Newser) – Israel, land of shredded couch corners? Maybe. At the end of November, the country passed a bill that bans the declawing of cats—with some seriously stiff penalties. Those convicted of the crime will face up to a year in prison and a $20,000 fine, reports Discover. If the idea of banning the practice shocks you, you're probably American: About 25% of cats here are believed to be declawed, but doing so is illegal in Europe, Australia, Brazil, and beyond (and, Discover notes, in a few California cities.)

The procedure is actually called an "onychectomy," and Discover points out that it involves more than just removing the nail. Generally the entire toe joint, including the bone found there, is amputated, the equivalent of having your fingertips chopped off around the third knuckle. Because cats rely on this part of their paw while walking, Israel believes the move will safeguard cats' ability to walk normally and defend themselves, and will prevent the medical complications that affect as many as 20% of cats after declawing. (Read more declawing stories.)

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