WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday signed a ban on declawing cats making New York the first state to officially implement the law.
- Supporting the move are PETA and other animal rights organizations who said that declawing is an inhumane practice where cats are subjected to having their claws and joints amputated.
- However, some veterinary medical associations criticized the new law saying the option of declawing their pets should lie on the owners themselves and veterinarians.
The state of New York has just passed a law prohibiting pet owners from declawing their cats.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill to ban declawing into law on Monday which takes effect immediately, according to Gothamist.
In a prepared statement on the new law, Cuomo wrote: “By banning this archaic practice, we will ensure that animals are no longer subjected to these inhumane and unnecessary procedures.”
While similar laws were already implemented in cities such as Los Angeles and Denver, New York is the first state to do so.
“New York prides itself on being first,” said the bill’s sponsor in the state Assembly, Linda Rosenthal. She also told the Associated Press in June that the move is expected to have a domino effect.
The new law has received a lot of support from animal rights organizations such as PETA and The Humane Society.
Declawing, according to the PETA website, is a form of cruelty that has been banned in European countries including Germany. It is a painful, invasive and traumatic process involving 10 individual amputations of a cat’s nails as well as its joints.
However, the New York State Veterinary Medical Society (NYSVMS) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) opposed the move saying that the choice should not be determined by a blanket law rather should be up to the pet owner and their veterinarian.
In its 2019 legislative agenda, the society said, “NYSVMS opposes any legislation that would prohibit the procedure in New York State and erode the ability of a licensed veterinarian to practice his or her profession.” They also added that this position is echoed by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Meanwhile, AVMA’s position states that only when all efforts to prevent cats from destructively using their claws have been done or when its clawing presents an increased health risk for its owners, then that’s when declawing domestic cats should be considered.
Exceptions to the ban include declawing procedures for medical purposes. This includes existing or chronic illness, infection, disease, injury or defects in the claw that may endanger the cat’s health. Anyone who violates the ban could be fined for up to $1,000.