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New York Could Become First State To Outlaw Cat Declawing

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New York could become the first state to make declawing cats illegal. 

The state legislature passed a bill Tuesday banning the common, yet controversial procedure. 

Declawing a cat involves the amputation of a cat's toes back to the first knuckle. Since it involves removing bones from the paws, animal rights activists say it causes the cat extreme pain.

The bill would subject veterinarians to $1,000 fines for performing the procedure. 

“After years of advocacy, New York State is poised to become the first state in the nation to ban the cruel and unnecessary practice of cat declawing,” said Assembly member Linda B. Rosenthal. “Cat declawing is a horrific, yet often-practiced surgery that leads to a lifetime of pain and discomfort for thousands of cats.

S.P.E.A.K. Animal Hospital and Feline Sanctuary in Binghamton say they support the bill. S.P.E.A.K.'s Office Manager Elise French say the non-profit animal hospital and feline sanctuary have always been against the procedure and work to educate people about the negative impact declawing has on cats and encourage other methods to address undesirable clawing behavior. 

Under the bill, veterinarians could still perform the procedure for medical reasons, such as infection or injury.

The bill now heads to Governor Cuomo's desk for review. 

Declawing a cat is already  illegal in Los Angeles, San Franscisco, Denver, and much of Europe.