New York might soon become the fairest state in all the land — for cats.
The Associated Press reports that the New York state Assembly and Senate will convene on Tuesday to vote on a bill, introduced years ago, that would ban the declawing of cats. If the bill is passed and signed into law, New York will become the first state outlaw the practice, although it is already illegal in some U.S. cities — Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Denver — as well as in much of Europe.
Fans of the ban say that declawing is cruel and unusual, as it involves the amputation of part of the cat’s toes. The bill would see that doctors who violate the ban are fined up to $ 1,000. (Doctors would still be allowed to perform the surgery for medical purposes, such as injury or infection.) The bill was first introduced in 2015 by Democratic assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal who expressed confidence in the long-awaited vote. “New York prides itself on being first. This will have a domino effect,” Rosenthal said.
While the practice is widely considered to be harmful, the New York State Veterinary Medical Society opposes the bill. The society said that while declawing should be a measure of last resort, it is ultimately a decision that should be made on a case-by-case basis by a medical professional.
Several veterinarians have come out in favor of the bill, though. Eileen Jefferson, a member of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association said during a recent trip to Albany to advocate for the legislation, “Declawing is an inhumane and misguided procedure that subjects cats to unnecessary pain.”
New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, has yet to say whether he would ratify such a measure were it to arrive at his desk for signing.