June 5, 2019 By Max Murray
State Senator Michael Gianaris announced yesterday the passage of legislation that would ban cat declawing.
The legislation, passed by both the Assembly and Senate Tuesday, would impose a $1,000 fine on any person found guilty of declawing a cat unless the procedure is medically necessary.
“Cat declawing is a brutal procedure similar to severing a human finger at the first knuckle and has lifelong ramifications for cats,” Gianaris said in a statement. “I am proud of the Senate’s emphasis on animal welfare and I am pleased we passed this important proposal.”
The legislation was passed on Animal Advocacy Day, a day when pet owners and advocates go to the capitol and discuss legislation.
Gianaris sponsored the bill in the senate, while Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal, who represents the Upper Westside, was the Assembly sponsor. The legislation awaits the signature of the Governor Cuomo before becoming law.
Cat declawing is the process of removing a cat’s claws through the amputation of the end bones attached to the claw. This procedure severely damages the ligaments, tendons, and nerves of the cat’s paw.
The surgery, according to Gianaris, often results in negative behavioral traits such as aggression, biting/spraying, depression, and refusal to use the litter box.
New York would be the first state to enact legislation banning this kind of procedure.
“They say a society is judged by the way it treats its animals, and we’re trying to make a statement that in New York we care about our four-legged friends and family members,” Gianaris told pet owners at the Capitol yesterday. “We’re not going to stop until they get all the protections they deserve.”
Gianaris and Rosenthal have long fought for animal protections. They introduced a bill in their respective chambers earlier this year to ban the retail sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits. That bill has yet to go to the floor for a vote.