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New York could become first state to ban declawing of cats

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ALBANY, N.Y. — New York would be the first state to ban the declawing of cats under a legislative proposal that has divided veterinarians.

Several vets supportive of a ban lobbied lawmakers at the state Capitol Tuesday. They say the procedure, which involves cutting through bone, tendon and nerves to amputate the first segment of a cat’s toes, is unnecessary and cruel.

But the state’s Veterinary Medical Society opposes prohibition, saying the procedure saves cats with scratching behavior from being euthanized. They say declawing is a decision best left to cat owners and veterinarians and not lawmakers.

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.

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