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Declawing Cats Is Now Illegal In New York

Patch logo Patch 7/22/2019 Adam Nichols
a cat with its mouth open © Provided by Planck, LLC, d/b/a Patch Media

NEW YORK – The Empire State has become the first in the nation to make declawing cats illegal.

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed it into law Monday, threatening anybody who performs the procedure unless its medically necessary with a fine of $1,000.

"Declawing is a cruel and painful procedure that can create physical and behavioral problems for helpless animals, and today it stops," Cuomo said.

"By banning this archaic practice, we will ensure that animals are no longer subjected to these inhumane and unnecessary procedures."

The bill had been sponsored by Manhattan Democrat Linda Rosenthal, who called it "horrific" surgery that caused lifelong pain for the animals. The Humane Society compares the procedure to cutting off human fingers at the first knuckle.

“Governor Cuomo's signing of this historic bill in New York is a watershed moment for the declawing issue, and we hope other states will follow suit by prohibiting this unnecessary convenience surgery," the society's president Kitty Block said in a tweet.

Nations such as Switzerland, Israel and the United Kingdom have all banned cat declawing, as have almost 10 cities in California, according to a state Senate bill memo.

New York's ban would make an exception for declawing that's needed to address medical conditions.

"It's a wonderful day for the cats of the state and the people who love them," Rosenthal said.

"Now that my bill has become law, New York has been catapulted onto the leaderboard of humane states, and we expect other states to quickly follow in out footsteps."


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