ThisFurryLife.com staff (Press Release)
New York State is on its way to being the first state in the nation to ban cat de-clawing in the country.
The Paw Project, the leading animal protection nonprofit that is dedicated to educating the public about the inhumane and crippling effects of cat declawing and advocating for anti-declaw legislation, is praising New York State legislators for their votes to stop declawing. On June 4, the New York State Assembly passed A1303 (L Rosenthal) 92-26 and the Senate passed the companion bill, S5532 (Gianaris) 48-12. The bills prohibit elective, non-therapeutic declawing.
Both bills will now go to the desk of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for his signature before becoming law. Onychectomy, the medical term for declawing, is already prohibited in nine US cities and in 7 of the 10 Canadian provinces. Anti-declaw legislation is currently being considered in California, New Jersey, West Virginia, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. It is estimated that 23 million domestic cats are declawed in the United States, a highly invasive and painful surgery performed primarily to protect furniture. It is widely recognized that declawing cats does not reduce the risk for humans with health issues. Recently published studies have shown that declawed cats are more likely to bite.
“I am so honored to work with Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal and Senator Michael Gianaris. They are true champions for animals. New York is on the path to becoming the most humane state in the Union,” said Jennifer Conrad, DVM, a veterinarian and the founder/director of the Paw Project.
Declawing is a surgical procedure in which the animal’s toes are amputated at the last joint. A portion of the bone, not just the nail, is removed. It would be similar to cutting off the first knuckle on the human hand. The Humane Society of The United States, the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, Alley Cat Allies, and veterinarians all over the world oppose the procedure.
“On behalf of the half-million supporters of Alley Cat Allies, I applaud the New York legislature for passing this bill. We offer our strong support for Governor Cuomo to sign the bill into law and take the momentous step to ban declawing,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies.
West Hollywood, California, in 2003, was the first city in the United States to ban the procedure, followed in 2009 by Berkeley, Beverly Hills, Burbank, Culver City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Monica, and Denver. California has already passed legislation to prohibit declawing of captive and wild exotic cats due to the Project efforts. The practice of declawing any cat already is illegal or considered unethical in most of the world, including the UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, and Norway. Great Britain’s Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons has declared declawing to be “unnecessary mutilation.”
Veterinarians working with the Paw Project have developed and performed reparative surgery on lions, tigers, cougars, leopards, jaguars, and domestic cats that had been maimed by declawing. The results have been dramatic. Enjoying relief for the first time after years of suffering, cats that could only hobble a few agonizing steps before surgery, now are able to leap, run and play as nature intended.