New York state has became the first U.S. state to ban the declawing of cats on. On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, signed the New York ban. Already most of Europe, several Canadian provinces and a growing list of American cities prohibit the procedure animal advocates call cruel and unnecessary.
“This is a real triumph for cats and the people who love them,” said Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, D-Manhattan, who pushed for years and who yielded to temptation when it came feline-themed puns on Monday. “This has catapulted New York to a leadership position when it comes to cruelty against felines.”
Declawing a cat involves amputating the first segment of a cat’s toes. The operation was commonly performed to protect furniture and human skin from feline scratching but in recent years come under scrutiny by animal welfare advocates, cat owners and many vets.
Is everyone in favor of this bill?
The short answer is no. The New York State Veterinary Medical Society opposes this ban stressing that declawing should be allowed in certain conditions. An example of this would be when an owner has a medical condition that puts them at a greater risk of infection.
“Many doctors direct that their patients have their cats declawed when they are immuno-compromised, diabetic, hemophiliac, on immune suppressing medication, and for various other medical reasons,” reads a statement provided to CNN from the NYSVMS.
In the state of NY veterinarians will still be allowed to declaw cats but under certain conditions, like an injury or infection to the nail.
Supporters of the new law, which took effect immediately, predict it will lead to similar proposals across the country.