A bill seeking to ban cat declawing in New York passed the state legislature Tuesday.
Declawing, or onychectomy, is currently illegal in some cities in California such as Los Angeles and San Francisco and Denver, Colorado as well as in several European countries.
The state could become the first in the country to prohibit cat owners from declawing their pets if the bill is signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Sponsored by Linda Rosenthal, a member of the New York State Assembly, bill A01303 aims to make declawing punishable by a penalty not exceeding $1,000.
In a statement to CNN, Rosenthal said declawing “is not like getting a mani/pedi, it’s a brutal surgical procedure that involves removing the first bone of the cat’s toe and part of the tendons and muscles”.
According to the bill, declawing is permissible for therapeutic purposes while addressing the medical condition of the cat. It cites an existing or recurring illness, infection, disease, injury or abnormal condition in the claw that endangers the cat’s health.
“Therapeutic purpose does not include cosmetic or aesthetic reasons or reasons of convenience in keeping or handling the cat,” the bill states.