New York a Signature Away From Becoming the First State to Ban Cat Declawing
New York is poised to become the first state in the U.S. to ban the declawing of cats under legislation that sailed through the state legislature with bipartisan support.
The bill, which would subject veterinarians to a $1,000 fine for performing the procedure, has been sought for years by cat owners and animal welfare advocates.
Its sponsor, Democratic Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal of Manhattan told reporters after its passages that “Cat declawing is a horrific, yet often practiced surgery that leads to a lifetime of pain and discomfort for thousands of cats.
“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,” Rosenthal said.
However, as of Friday it was still not entirely clear that Governor Andrew Cuomo will sign the bill. A spokesperson for the governor’s office said only that he will review the legislation before he makes a final decision.
Declawing cats is already illegal in a number of U.S. cities, including Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco. However, no state has ever moved to ban the procedure, which requires amputating a cat’s toes back to the first knuckle.
Among those hoping Cuomo won’t sign the bill are members of the New York State Veterinary Medical Society.
The society has been an outspoken critic of the legislation, contending that there are many legitimate reasons for performing the procedure.
These include instances where elderly pet owners move into an assisted living facility where they may be required to declaw a long-time pet for the safety of other residents. Another may be when a pet’s owner develops a weakened immune system and can’t risk suffering a potentially life-threatening infection stemming from an inadvertent scratch.
The ban the bill puts in place would force the owners in each of those cases to give up their pets.
In a fact sheet it distributed to lawmakers, the veterinary society also contended a ban is unwarranted because “veterinarians are doing considerably fewer declaw procedures” and members of the society are “educating clients on alternative options and discussing the procedure in detail.
“For example, in one veterinary practice located in Buffalo, New York, there are 4,500 active clients, 6,500 active patients, and half of those are feline. In 2015, that practice performed less than 30 declaws, a 50% decrease from 2013,” the fact sheet says.
Under the bill, which passed the state Senate by a 50-12 vote and the Assembly, by a vote of 92-27, veterinarians could still perform the procedure for medical reasons, such as infection or injury.
In The News
A new commission tasked with reforming how New York State runs and finances it elections got off to a rancorous start this week, with members struggling to deal with even the most mundane organizational matters and a fight erupting over how the nine-member body will ultimately... Read More
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Cities and counties in Southern California will have to plan for the construction of 1.3 million new homes in the next decade, a figure more than three times what local governments had proposed over the same period, according to a letter released by... Read More
WASHINGTON — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee ended his climate change-focused 2020 presidential bid Wednesday night, announcing Thursday that he'll seek a third term as governor instead. Inslee revealed he was ending his run for the White House on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show." "It's become clear... Read More
A federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled that three presidential electors from Colorado were unconstitutionally forced to cast their Electoral College votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016. The ruling by a divided 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is a victory for so-called “faithless electors” who... Read More
ORLANDO, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis gave Florida’s 67 elections supervisors their No. 1 priority for 2020 on Wednesday. DeSantis announced that Florida would become the 29th state to join the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC, a nonprofit compact that allows states to share encrypted... Read More
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Alarmed that the gun used in a mass shooting in Gilroy was bought legally in Nevada, two dozen California legislators on Wednesday asked their counterparts in the neighboring state to meet this fall to discuss strengthening restrictions on firearms. The unusual proposal was... Read More