PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — It’s a controversial topic that has many up in arms.

House Bill 1533 now aims to outlaw cat declawing, with few exceptions.

The bill’s sponsor, representative Barbara Hernandez argues declawing is painful and inhumane to cats.  

But the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association calls the bill too narrow and is putting cats’ lives at risk.

Dr. Jason Wrage agrees, saying declawing is a decision that should be left to veterinary medical professionals and not something that should be legislated.

“Veterinarians have always been the trusted partner in the care for people’s pets; any effort to restrict that needs to be looked at closely,” Wrage says. “So reviewing it and making sure we are working together to come to the best solution is gonna be important.”

According to the veterinarian, sometimes there are behavioral issues outside of the claws and it is imperative the veterinarian also addresses that angle.

He doesn’t want there to be any restriction on their ability to practice safe and effective veterinary medicine.

“It’s in the hands of the veterinarian and the pet owner to make the responsible decision,” says Wrage. “We are not completely opposed to any legislation. However, we are interested in working together to make sure it secures the safety and well-being of the cat and isn’t too rigid to restrict the practice of veterinary medicine.”

Studies show more than 90 percent of cats over the age of 10 have some sort of arthritis, regardless of their declaw status, the doctor says.

As a veterinarian, he is interested in the overall welfare of the cat.

That may include addressing those arthritis issues we may assume are from declawing or not, but could actually be a genetic predisposition.