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Cat declawing bill could outlaw practice across New York State

Animal right advocates say cat declawing is painful

Animal right advocates say cat declawing is painful and inhumane. Photo Credit: iStock

New York State Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, known for showing her claws against animal cruelty, is pouncing on a new topic: cat declawing.

Rosenthal, who represents district 67, mainly covering Manhattan's Upper West Side, has penned a bill that would ban removing cats' claws unless necessary for medical reasons, the New York Daily News reports.

The bill has not yet been introduced to the state Senate, but it has been backed by the Humane Society of New York.

"Too often, people think that declawing is a simple surgery that removes a cat's nails—the equivalent of having your fingernails trimmed. Sadly, this is far from the truth," the Humane Society says on its website. "Declawing traditionally involves the amputation of the last bone of each toe. If performed on a human being, it would be like cutting off each finger at the last knuckle."

The Paw Project, a non-profit dedicated to educating the public about the effects of declawing, is also behind it. The group has successfully led campaigns to make declawing illegal in cities across California, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, and in 2014 helped get a law in Rhode Island enacted to prohibit landlords from requiring tenants to declaw their pets.

If Rosenthal's bill is enacted, New York would be the first in the country to introduce a state-wide ban on the practice.

Rosenthal's previous efforts include fighting to extend orders of protection to domestic animals and limiting cosmetic testing on animals. Just last month, her bill banning pet tattoos and piercings was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo.


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