Animals

New York Is First State In US To Ban The Declawing Of Cats

June 13th, 2019

Cats are like family, without question. If you’re a cat lover then you know there is nothing you wouldn’t do to protect your baby, and just the thought of somebody doing anything to hurt them makes your blood boil. Even the things you have to do for them can sometimes make you wince because you know they absolutely hate it when they have to be groomed or have their claws trimmed. Nonetheless, you have to do what needs to be done.

Trimming cats’ claws or filing them down, however, is a world apart from having them declawed.

Declawing is the practice of removing a cat’s claws entirely so they can’t scratch on furniture or people. Many cat owners have convinced themselves that it is better to declaw indoor cats because so many veterinarians recommend it. Unfortunately, as it turns out, the vet doesn’t always have either you or your cats’ best interest at heart.

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When you declaw a cat, it isn’t just like popping a fingernail out of its nailbed. Rather, in order to effectively remove the claw, which grows from the bone of the toes itself, you have to cut off the toe at the first bone joint, slicing through nerves, tendons and blood vessels along the way.

For cats, the procedure is unbearably painful and serves no benefit to the cats themselves.

Declawing cats is widely recognized throughout the world as an inhumane act, and a plethora of countries have already imposed a ban on the practice. These countries include, but aren’t limited to: France, Germany, England, Scotland, Italy, Wales, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Netherlands, Ireland, Finland, Denmark, Portugal, Belgium, Slovenia, Yugoslavia, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Israel, Brazil, and Japan.

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In addition to the 25+ countries that have already taken a stance against declawing cats, individual cities in the U.S. have also put a ban on the procedure. Los Angelas, California, and Denver, Colorado were two of the first.

Finally, though, the states are getting ready to follow suit and ban the unnecessary practice, starting with the state of New York, and the majority of animal welfare organizations are ready to stand in support of the new legislation.

“Declawing is a violent, invasive, painful, and unnecessary mutilation that involves 10 separate amputations – not just of cats’ nails but of their joints as well. Its long-term effects include skin and bladder problems and the gradual weakening of cats’ legs, shoulders, and back muscles. Declawing is both painful and traumatic, and it was been outlawed in Germany and other parts of Europe as a form of cruelty,” declares PETA on its website.

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The new Bill passing its way through New York legislature’s primary sponsor is Linda Rosenthal, a member of New York State Assembly, and this isn’t her first go-round with the legislature, either. She has, in fact, been proposing multiple laws similar to the current proposed ban for the last 4 years, since 2015.

Now that this proposal has passed through the legislature, it is only one step away from becoming law.

The new bill is simply awaiting Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature before the ban will go into effect, and Rosenthal is confident that the option to declaw cats won’t be widely available in the near future.

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In Rosenthal’s statement, you can discern her glee in the knowledge that she will soon see a long-overdue end to such an unjust practice.

“Declawing a cat is not like getting a mani/pedi, it’s a brutal surgical procedure that involves removing the first bone of the cat’s toe and part of the tendons and muscles. Now that New York is poised to become the first state in the nation to ban cat declawing, the days when this procedure is cavalierly offered for the convenience of the owners to protect couches and curtain are numbered,” Rosenthal proclaims.

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While most people today think such laws should have been put in effect decades ago, there is still a high-tide of opposition swelling from, what you would think to be, an unlikely adversary; New York State Veterinary Medical Society.

The organization firmly stands against the bill because they believe a licensed, educated professional should be allowed to determine whether or not the procedure is appropriate with respect to certain medical issues that *may* arise in some cats.

“Many doctors direct that their patients have their cats declawed when they are immuno-compromised, diabetic, hemophiliac, on immune suppressing medication, and for various other medical reasons. NYSVMS believes a veterinarian, as a licensed medical professional with the education and knowledge to safely perform medical procedures on animals, should be permitted to make medical decisions after direct consultation with a client and a thorough examination of the patient and its home circumstances,” the NYSVMS spoke out in a statement addressing the new law.

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Contrary to the NYSVMS organization’s concerns, however, the new legislation does not take the option of declawing cats completely off of the table when it’s for “therapeutic” medical conditions. Rather, it only prevents every Tom, Dick, and Harry from declawing their cats simply out of reverence for their furniture.

If a cat suffers from any condition, infection, illness, injury, or disease where removing the claws is actually beneficial to the cat, the law allows for an exception in such cases. If a cat is declawed for any other reason outside of a medical exception, though, perpetrators will be hit with up to a $1,000 fine.

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It is high time that we start demanding justice for animals who can’t demand it on their own, and we are happy to know that legislation for animal rights and welfare is finally gaining traction at the state level.

Hopefully, the United States of America will be the next country added to the long list of others to enforce a strict ban on the declawing of cats and other animals.

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