Making the lives of animals better has been a growing legal trend in the past couple years. New York State Assemblywoman, Linda Rosenthal, is working to further improve the lives of animals within her home state. She is the woman behind the recent ban of humans tattooing their pets, and has now moved on to introduce a ban for cat declawing.
Rosenthal’s bill will prohibit declawing all cats, unless it is medically necessary. Debate about cat declawing has become a controversial topic and practice. Some American veterinarians agree that “amputating” a cat’s claws should only be considered after multiple attempts of preventing the cat from being destructive, or if the claws present an above normal health risk to the cat’s owner.
Organizations, such as PETA, the ASPCA, and the Humane Society all strongly oppose cat declawing. A cat’s claws are important to its everyday life, and declawing is also equated to “cutting off each finger at the last knuckle.” It can also affect the cat’s ability to walk properly and contribute to paw irritation. There are also alternatives to declawing, such as plastic claw caps to prevent the cat’s nails from scratching furniture.
However, not everyone is opposed to declawing. Dr. David Smith says declawing can even be beneficial to the cat. Some cat scratches, especially to elderly people, can cause serious infection due to the bacteria on their paws and nails. He also backs his statement by stating, “What it does is it keeps a cat that would normally be put outside or given back to the adoption agency, it puts it in a home.” Although he does acknowledge this is a painful procedure, he doesn’t think it should be banned, and should be handled case by case.
If New York passes the bill, it will be the first state to have banned declawing. As the bill is proposed to the senate, we will see if cat declawing will become illegal throughout the entire state of New York.
Do you think the bill will be passed? Do you think other states will follow suit?