New York Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Ban Declawing

January 15, 2015

The bill has yet to be formally introduced in the state Senate.

American veterinarians have recently agreed to label it an “amputation” that “should be considered only after attempts have been made to prevent the cat from using its claws destructively or when its clawing presents an above normal health risk for its owner(s),” according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

“It’s like taking off your first knuckle,” Rosenthal told the New York Daily Post. “(Cats) are born with claws and they are meant to have claws. It’s cruel to remove them for the sake of human convenience and saving your furniture.”

According to Rosenthal, New York would be the first state with a declawing ban in place, should the legislation be enacted.

“Nobody’s stepped up to do it, that’s why I’m doing it,” she said in an interview for the Gothamist. “People talk about it a lot but many people still do it, and they have veterinarians who agree to do it, so that has to change. Just like there are some surgeons who will keep performing plastic surgery on their clients as long as they keep paying. It’s the same sort of thing, but I think it’s totally unethical to perform these kinds of amputations on cats.”

PETA, the ASPCA and the Humane Society are all strongly opposed to declawing. Declawing can also negatively affect a cat’s ability to walk properly, and can contribute to paw irritation. Alternatives to declawing include providing domesticated cats with scratch posts, trimming claws and gluing soft plastic caps to cats’ nails to prevent them from roughing up furniture.

The bill has been backed by the Humane Society and anti-declawing group The Paw Project.

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