Veterinarians across New York are speaking out against the practice of declawing cats by backing a proposed bill that would outlaw the procedure. The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association and the Paw Project have organized 115 veterinarians to date in an effort to illustrate further support for the bill, A.1297/ S.5084, which has been steadily gaining ground since its introduction last year. With any luck, New York’s cats will soon be protected from the cruel and unnecessary practice.
The proposed cat declawing ban is a bipartisan effort, initially introduced by Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal, a democrat, and later co-sponsored by republican Senator Joseph A. Griffo. Rosenthal and Griffo believe declawing cats leads to much bigger behavioral problems than their natural claws do. “Because of their behavioral issues, declawed cats are not as likely to be adopted as other cats,” Rosenthal said in a statement. “I introduced this bill to end the misery inflicted on cats when there are many safe and effective alternatives to declawing.”
The Humane Society and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) already advise against the procedure, and other organizations like the American Animal Hospital Association and the American Association of Feline Practitioners have also taken up positions discouraging people from declawing their cats. Getting more veterinarians behind the bill will help further establish a ban as a veterinary best practice.
“A relatively high percentage of cats are still being declawed despite all the recommendations against it,” Susan Whittred, DVM, New York co-director for The Paw Project, said. “Targeting this problem through legislation is necessary and overdue. This bill is not an infringement on the veterinarian’s role at all. In fact, veterinarians are helping lead the efforts to see it pass.”