New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signs a Legislature-passed bill, the state will become the first in the nation to ban and criminalize the practice of declawing cats. The legislature recently passed the measure as animal activists in Albany rallied to push their agenda onto lawmakers before their June 19 break.
According to numerous veterinarian groups, declawing, in some cases, should only be regarded as a final solution – a medical necessity. Legislation supporters say declawing is actually animal mutilation that amputates the cat’s toe at the knuckle. One supporter compared it to cutting off a finger at the knuckle.
Supporters say the declawing practice is usually done for aesthetic reasons, where people are declawing their cats keep them from tearing up furniture.
The Humane Society of the United States has praised the New York bill. Ban supporters and animal welfare advocates say declawing is barbaric and is in no way beneficial an animal’s health. According to the bill sponsor, Manhattan Democrat Linda Rosenthal, declawing a cat actually leads to cat problems such as litter-box avoidance and biting – actions that cause owners to relinquish custody of their cat to an animal shelter.
The practice is already illegal in Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and most of Europe.
Bans are also being considered in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and California.
If the governor does sign the bill, any veterinarian caught doing the procedure would pay a $1,000 fine. Govenor Cuomo said his office would look over the bill before deciding if he will or will not sign it.
Although the bill passed the legislature, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t met with some legislative opposition. A Republican assemblyman said the decision to declaw should be medical, and not legislative. He was also worried that should New York ban the practice; it would encourage pet owners to travel to other states that haven’t banned it to have their cats declawed.
Rosenthal said if New York passes the bill, it would potentially encourage other states to pass similar legislation.
There are a host of animal bills being considered this year.
One bill that animal lovers are also pushing would forbid the sale of cats, puppies, and rabbits, from pet stores in an effort to increase the chances of people adopting their pets from shelters.
Breeder advocates and pet stores have said passing this type of bill would be detrimental to their business, the future of pure-breeds, and the health of pets being adopted from shelters. According to these groups, shelters do not have to follow the same regulations as pet dealers and breeds, which means they don’t have to ensure their animals’ health and quality before selling them to the public.
Other Passed Legislative Bills:
• Fine people who failed to provide their dogs with suitable outside shelter.
• Demands pet stores to install fire protection systems in their businesses.
• Provide tax credits to people who adopt an animal.