A ban on declawing passed a key committee vote in Florida this week, while Black Sabbath frontman and reality TV star Ozzy Osbourne has become the new face of a PETA campaign against the harmful practice.
Florida aims to become the second US state to ban the elective and harmful procedure after our home state, New York, passed the country’s first statewide ban on declawing in 2019.
The Florida bill, which was introduced in August, was approved by the state senate’s agricultural committee by a 4-1 vote on Tuesday. It’s expected to pass two more committee votes before it goes to a final vote on the senate floor.
The ban would levy relatively stiff penalties for owners and veterinarians who ignore the law. The former would face fines of $1,000 per cat, while veterinarians would be fined $5,000 per cat, as well as discipline from the state’s Board of Veterinary Medicine.
Meanwhile, Osbourne and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have teamed up for a public announcement campaign aimed at increasing awareness of the damage declawing does to cats.
The ads feature a striking image of Osbourne holding up both hands, with his fingers severed at the first knuckle to illustrate what’s done to cats during the procedure. It’s bloody, like Osbourne’s long-time stage antics, and controversial, like many PETA campaigns.
“Amputating a cat’s toes is twisted and wrong,” Osbourne said, per PETA. “If your couch is more important to you than your cat’s health and happiness, you don’t deserve to have an animal! Get cats a scratching post—don’t mutilate them for life.”