Florida Senate - 2020 SB 48 By Senator Book 32-00073A-20 202048__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the declawing of cats; creating s. 3 828.095, F.S.; defining terms; prohibiting a person 4 from performing a declawing on a cat within this 5 state; providing an exception; providing a civil 6 penalty; providing that a veterinarian who performs a 7 prohibited declawing is subject to disciplinary action 8 by the Board of Veterinary Medicine; amending s. 9 474.214, F.S.; providing that a veterinarian who 10 performs a prohibited declawing is subject to certain 11 disciplinary action; providing an effective date. 12 13 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 14 15 Section 1. Section 828.095, Florida Statutes, is created to 16 read: 17 828.095 Prohibition on the declawing of cats; penalty.— 18 (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: 19 (a) “Declawing” means any of the following: 20 1. An onychectomy, dactylectomy, phalangectomy, partial 21 digital amputation, or any other surgical procedure by which a 22 portion of a cat’s paw is amputated to remove the cat’s claw. 23 2. A tendonectomy or another surgical procedure by which 24 the tendons of a cat’s limbs, paws, or toes are cut or modified 25 so that the cat’s claws cannot be extended. 26 3. Any other procedure that prevents the normal functioning 27 of a cat’s claws. 28 (b) “Therapeutic purpose” means the necessity of addressing 29 the physical medical condition of a cat, such as an existing or 30 recurring illness, infection, disease, injury, or abnormal 31 condition of the cat which compromises the cat’s health. The 32 term does not include a cosmetic or an aesthetic reason or 33 reasons of convenience for keeping or handling the cat. 34 (2) PROHIBITION.—A person may not perform a declawing by 35 any means on a cat within this state unless the procedure is 36 necessary for a therapeutic purpose. 37 (3) PENALTIES.— 38 (a) A person, other than a veterinarian licensed under ch. 39 474, who violates this section is subject to a civil penalty of 40 up to $1,000 for each violation. 41 (b) A veterinarian licensed under ch. 474 who violates this 42 section is subject to disciplinary action by the Board of 43 Veterinary Medicine pursuant to s. 474.214(2). 44 Section 2. Paragraph (qq) is added to subsection (1) of 45 section 474.214, Florida Statutes, and subsection (2) of that 46 section is republished, to read: 47 474.214 Disciplinary proceedings.— 48 (1) The following acts shall constitute grounds for which 49 the disciplinary actions in subsection (2) may be taken: 50 (qq) Performing a declawing, as defined in s. 828.095, 51 which is not necessary for a therapeutic purpose, as defined in 52 s. 828.095. 53 (2) When the board finds any applicant or veterinarian 54 guilty of any of the grounds set forth in subsection (1), 55 regardless of whether the violation occurred prior to licensure, 56 it may enter an order imposing one or more of the following 57 penalties: 58 (a) Denial of certification for examination or licensure. 59 (b) Revocation or suspension of a license. 60 (c) Imposition of an administrative fine not to exceed 61 $5,000 for each count or separate offense. 62 (d) Issuance of a reprimand. 63 (e) Placement of the veterinarian on probation for a period 64 of time and subject to such conditions as the board may specify, 65 including requiring the veterinarian to attend continuing 66 education courses or to work under the supervision of another 67 veterinarian. 68 (f) Restricting the authorized scope of practice. 69 (g) Imposition of costs of the investigation and 70 prosecution. 71 (h) Requiring the veterinarian to undergo remedial 72 education. 73 74 In determining appropriate action, the board must first consider 75 those sanctions necessary to protect the public. Only after 76 those sanctions have been imposed may the disciplining authority 77 consider and include in its order requirements designed to 78 rehabilitate the veterinarian. All costs associated with 79 compliance with any order issued under this subsection are the 80 obligation of the veterinarian. 81 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.