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
WHEATLAND, Iowa - Democrat Rita Hart is challenging the vote totals in Iowa's 2nd Congressional District, two days after a state board certified Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks the winner in a contest that came down to just six votes. The race is the closest federal election in... Read More
In the end, it came down to a razor thin margin of six votes out of 394,441 cast, but that was margin enough for the Iowa state canvassing board Monday to declare Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks winner of the state's hotly contested 2nd Congressional District race. On... Read More
ATLANTA — There are a few certainties about the all-important runoffs in Georgia: The Jan. 5 contests will decide control of the U.S. Senate, set soaring spending records, attract the shiniest stars from both parties and put Georgia at the center of the political universe. But much remains up in the air about... Read More
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Republican candidate saw her vote lead dwindle to single digits Wednesday in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District as a dramatic recount moved toward a conclusion in a race that will help determine the size of Democrats’ majority in the House of... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — As coronavirus cases surge again nationwide the Supreme Court late Wednesday barred New York from enforcing certain limits on attendance at churches and synagogues in areas designated as hard hit by the virus. The justices split 5-4 with new Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the... Read More
Throughout the 2020 election cycle a persistent narrative was just how divided the United States has become. But an as-yet uncalled House race in Iowa is taking the concept of a nation equally divided between Republicans and Democrats to a whole new level. Since Monday, the... Read More