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New York legislature bans cat declawing, bill heads to Governor Cuomo

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The bill sailed through both houses of the Legislature on Animal Advocacy Day, though it has been several years in the making with previous efforts falling short.


"Cat declawing is a horrific, yet often practiced surgery that leads to a lifetime of pain and discomfort for thousands of cats," Democratic Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal of Manhattan, who sponsored the bill, told NPR.


"Today, though, every cat and kitten in New York state lands on its feet as we prepare to make New York the best state for cats to live in the United States. I want to thank the advocates and my colleagues who together with me have fought to see this bill become law since 2015. I look forward to it being signed into law."


But it is unclear whether that will happen. A representative for Gov. Andrew Cuomo told the AP "he will review the bill before deciding if he will sign it."



Declawing a cat, or onychectomy, is more complicated than simply removing the nail. It usually involves amputating part of the bones to which the claws are attached. Animal advocates contend it is a cruel practice.


It has been banned in many parts of the world, including a number of European countries. It has also been outlawed in Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles and several other California cities.


Veterinarians would still be able to perform the procedure for medical reasons, such as infection or injury. However, those who violate the ban could face $1,000 fines.



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