New Jersey veterinarians fear increased euthanasia of unwanted cats resulting from proposed surgical declawing ban

Hillsborough, New Jersey, UNITED STATES

TRENTON, N.J., Nov. 14, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Representing the 1,600 licensed doctors of the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association (NJVMA), Dr. Mike Yurkus calls on the Assembly Agricultural Committee today to oppose a proposed government ban of surgical declawing (A3899), a move that he feared would lead to the increased euthanasia of unwanted cats.  

A surgical declaw procedure is recommended by doctors as a last resort, as an alternative to euthanasia or abandonment. A recent survey of NJVMA members shows that the average veterinarian performs less than nine procedures per year utilizing advanced pain control methods.

"We're the professionals who care for cats and care for the people who love their cats," said Dr. Yurkus. "We're not pro declawing, but we are anti-euthanasia. We want to see cats in loving households and not euthanized or relinquished to shelters where they are 72% more likely to be euthanized. We simply ask that you leave the declawing decision to doctors in consultation with their clients."

While the number of feline patients in veterinary practices has increased, the number of declaws has decreased, indicating that veterinarians are educating clients on alternatives to declawing. Surveys of those who choose to declaw their pets show overall satisfaction and an increase in the quality of life for the cats and their owners.

Dr. Yurkus also cited neutering as another elective surgical procedure performed under certain circumstances so cats are more accepted and kept from spraying tomcat-scented urine in the home.

About the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association (NJVMA)

Founded in 1884 as a professional association representing the state’s 1,600 licensed veterinarians, the NJVMA is dedicated to advancing the veterinary profession in New Jersey, protecting the health of animals and extending progressive leadership in the research, care, treatment, and welfare of animals. The NJVMA encourages high ethical standards and competence in the treatment of animals and promotes excellence in the professional training and continuing education of doctors of veterinary medicine. The association is a nexus point for all the issues, factors, and organizations that will have an impact on New Jersey’s veterinarians. For more information, go to


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