Lawmakers and advocates gathered Tuesday to push for a bill that would make it illegal to declaw cats in New York, but a group representing the state’s veterinarians says the procedure should remain legal.
Advocates ranging from state Humane Society members to individual veterinarians met in the state Capitol to push for a bill sponsored by Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, D-Manhattan, which would ban the practice of declawing cats except when medically necessary.
New York would become the first state to outlaw declawing procedures.
At a news conference Tuesday, Rosenthal said declawing in most cases is performed “as a convenience to the owner.” But the procedure is serious, she said, with portions of the animal’s bones,tendons and ligaments amputated, as opposed to just cutting off the nail as most people believe.
“For humans not to respect the integrity of the animal and the animal’s body is criminal,” she said. “However, it’s still allowed, it’s an option, and that’s why we aim to make it illegal.”
The New York State Veterinary Medical Society, however, opposes the bill.