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New York Becomes First State To Make Cat Declawing Illegal

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New York became the first state to make declawing of cats illegal, according to a law signed Monday by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The law bans the practice of surgically removing the claws from cats effective immediately, according to The Associated Press.

“Declawing is a cruel and painful procedure that can create physical and behavioral problems for helpless animals, and today it stops,” Cuomo announced. “By banning this archaic practice, we will ensure that animals are no longer subjected to these inhumane and unnecessary procedures.”

A cat sits on a chair at the pop-up "Cat Cafe", a cafe where patrons can interact and adopt cats, in New York, April 25, 2014. (Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

A cat sits on a chair at the pop-up “Cat Cafe”, a cafe where patrons can interact and adopt cats, in New York, April 25, 2014. (Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Activists opposed to cat declawing say the procedure, which requires veterinarians to amputate the first part of a cat’s toes, is cruel and unnecessary. (RELATED: Two Cats Live Alone In $1,500 Silicon Valley Apartment)

Declawing cats is illegal in the cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver, but New York marks the first state-wide ban of the practice. It is illegal in parts of Europe and Canada, according to the AP.

“Cat declawing is a brutal procedure similar to severing a human finger at the first knuckle and has lifelong ramifications for cats. I am proud of the new Senate majority’s emphasis on animal welfare and am glad the Governor enacted this legislation,” said Democratic state Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris.

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