Lawmakers look to ban declawing cats in New York

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ALBANY, N.Y. — Legislation in New York to ban declawing cats is singling out a once-common procedure that veterinarians say is now on the decline.

The measure has divided veterinarians.

Some say declawing is cruel because it involves amputating the first segments of a cat’s toes. But others say it must remain legal as a last resort for troubled felines whose scratching behavior can’t be controlled.

New York would be the first state to ban the declawing of cats.

The bill is before both the Senate and Assembly but no vote has been scheduled. Assembly sponsor Linda Rosenthal, a Manhattan Democrat, says support is growing as more cat owners learn the details of the procedure.

New York lawmakers are also considering eliminating sales taxes on pet food. They have already voted to allow dogs to join their owners on restaurant patios.

Many states have banned a controversial procedure that removes a dog’s vocal cords, and all 50 states now have laws making severe animal cruelty a felony.

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