The New York State Assembly Agriculture Committee is moving forward legislation that would outlaw the practice of declawing domestic cats.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News
Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

So far, ten cities in California and Denver have outlawed the practice but no state-wide ban has been passed.

Many veterinarians and animal welfare groups support banning the surgical procedure that cuts off the toes on a cat's front paws at the first knuckle joint.  The surgery sometimes results in complications and, even with cats that are kept indoors, anti-declawing sectors argue indoor cats can get out and having no front claws leaves them with one less defense mechanism.

Many pet owners over the decades have opted to declaw their cats to spare their furniture and avoid scratches and New York's largest veterinary association has opposed the anti-declawing measure saying the procedure should still be allowed as a last resort for problem felines or ones with genetic traits that pose mobility issues from very large paws or extra toes.

The full Assembly and Senate still need to pass the measure before it is sent to the Governor.

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