New York became the first state to ban cat declawing on Monday, with the stroke of the Governor’s pen.
In a statement, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he banned declawing for being a “cruel and painful procedure that can create physical and behavioral problems.”
Dr. Timm Otterson, a veterinarian at Summer Street Cat Clinic, called the procedure controversial, and something animal advocates have urged for quite some time.
But Otterson said some vets are concerned this ban could have a negative impact, specifically that less cats will be adopted and even abandoned as a result.
“The vet society tried to get the state law to have some clauses in it that would let you get your cat declawed if say you had clotting disorders, were on blood thinners…my understanding is the bill has no exceptions for that,” he said. “There are people that this is a concern it’s a real medical need for the person to have it done and it’s not going to be available.”
Otterson said while he wouldn’t be surprised if people traveled to neighboring states in order to have this procedure done, he thinks it’s also too early to tell what the results of this ban will be.
Similar declawing ban bills are pending in other states, including Massachusetts and New Jersey.