The bill proposes amendments to the Arizona Revised Statutes, specifically relating to the practice of veterinary medicine. It introduces a new definition for "declawing" or "onychectomy," which is described as a surgical procedure that amputates part of an animal's paw to remove claws, and "tendonectomy," which involves cutting or modifying tendons in an animal's limbs, paws, or toes to prevent claw extension. Additionally, the bill defines "therapeutic purpose" as a medically necessary treatment for an existing or recurring condition in an animal's claw that jeopardizes its health, explicitly excluding cosmetic or convenience reasons.

The bill also stipulates that only licensed veterinarians may perform declawing, onychectomy, or tendonectomy on cats, and only for therapeutic purposes. Veterinarians must keep records of such procedures for at least four years, including details about the cat, the owner, the procedure date, the reason for the procedure, and supporting diagnostic information. Violations of these provisions will result in escalating penalties, starting with a $1,000 civil penalty for a first violation, $1,500 for a second violation, and potential license suspension or revocation for third or subsequent violations.

Statutes affected:
Introduced Version: 32-2201, 32-2240.02