ALBANY, N.Y. —New York’s Legislature has passed a bill that would make the state the first in the U.S. to ban cat declawing operations.
The bill would subject veterinarians to $1,000 fines for performing the procedure, which involves amputating a cat’s toes back to the first knuckle.
It now heads to the desk of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He hasn’t said whether he’ll sign it into law.
Declawing a cat is already illegal in much of Europe as well as in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver.
Supporters of the ban include animal welfare advocates, who argue declawing is cruel and barbaric.
The New York Veterinary Medical Society opposed the bill, arguing that declawing should be allowed as a last resort in some circumstances.
“New York prides itself on being first,” said the bill’s sponsor in the state Assembly, Manhattan Democrat Linda Rosenthal, who said she expects other states to follow suit. “This will have a domino effect.”