New York Becomes First State to Ban Cat Declawing – Should More States Follow?
Should there be a ban on declawing cats?
by Countable | 7.23.19
Update - July 23, 2019:
- New York has become the first U.S. state to ban cat declawing, which is already illegal in much of Europe and in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Denver.
"Declawing is a cruel and painful procedure that can create physical and behavioral problems for helpless animals," said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).
- Cuomo added that banning "this archaic practice" would ensure that animals "are no longer subjected to these inhumane and unnecessary procedures."
- The New York State Veterinary Medical Society had opposed the bill, saying in May that the procedure may be necessary for the pet owner’s health or as a last resort for cats who won’t stop scratching furniture. Declawing, they said, "should be an available option when the alternative is abandonment or euthanasia.”
Countable's original story appears below.
What’s the story?
- New York’s state Assembly and Senate are set to vote on a bill that would ban the declawing of cats.
- If passed and signed into law, New York would become the first state to ban the practice, which is already illegal in much of Europe and in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Denver.
- People who declaw a feline would face fines of up to $1,000. Vets would still be allowed to perform the procedure for medical reasons, including infection or injury.
What are people saying?
- Animal welfare advocates, cat owners, and veterinarians argue the practice is inhumane as it involves amputating a cat’s toes back to the first knuckle.
“New York prides itself on being first,” said the bill’s sponsor in the state’s Assembly, Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan), who hopes the legislation will “have a domino effect” across the country.
- The New York State Veterinary Medical Society opposes the bill, saying the procedure may be necessary for the pet owner’s health or as a last resort for cats who won’t stop scratching furniture.
“Medical decisions should be left to the sound discretion of fully trained, licensed and state supervised professionals,” the society said in a memo opposing the legislation.
What do you think?
Do you hope there’s a “domino effect” and other states pass declawing bans? Take action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.
(Photo Credit: iStock / Kyryl Gorlov)
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