By John Tramontana, MS, CAE | Chief Executive Officer, MVMA

Last week, a bill to ban cat declawing was introduced in the Michigan House. HB 4674 contains the following language:

“A licensee shall not perform by any means an onychectomy, a partial or complete phalangectomy, or tendonectomy procedure, or any other surgical procedure that prevents normal functioning of the claws, toes, or paws, on a cat, unless the procedure is necessary to address a therapeutic purpose.”

So, why does MVMA oppose this bill?

MVMA will never support any bill or legislation that impedes your ability to practice or infringes upon your scope of practice. The majority of our membership agrees. When this bill was last introduced in 2020, 67% of MVMA members opposed a ban. I want to be clear though, that not supporting a ban does not equate to being pro-procedure. It means that doctors should be making those decisions and not lawmakers. We will fight any legislation that takes animal health and welfare decisions out of your hands.

While two-thirds of members oppose this ban, we also understand this procedure is controversial within our membership with passionate views on both sides. Many of our members have proactively decided to no longer perform any declaw procedures. That is every individual’s decision, and we support it. At the end of the day, veterinarians should be the ones making that call. 

MVMA will be opposing this legislation now and in the future. Our job is to advocate for you, so you can do what’s best for animals and their welfare.