NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A1303B
SPONSOR: Rosenthal L (MS)
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in
relation to prohibiting the declawing of cats
This bill prohibits the performance of declawing procedures on cats.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section one amends the agriculture and markets law by adding a new
section 381 .
Section two sets forth the effective date.
Cats' claws play an important role in various aspects of their lives.
Cats use their claws to assist in climbing and maintaining balance, to
help them fully stretch, to relieve stress through kneading and to
escape danger. When a person has its animal declawed, usually in an
attempt to protect furniture, they do fundamental damage to that animal
both physically and in behavioral ways. There are harmless ways to
manage undesirable behavior through simple training and other estab-
Declawing, also known as onychectomy, involves the removal of all or
most of the last bone of each of the toes of the front feet, and
tendons, nerves and ligaments that allow for normal function of the paw
are severed, resulting in intense and chronic pain and other serious
medical issues. Abscesses often develop as the area comes into contact
with dirt or litter, and sometimes regrowth can occur spontaneously
resulting in sharp pain or infection. After the claws are removed, the
animal tends to shift its gait and where it places most of its weight,
causing strain on its leg joints and spine, which can lead to early
onset arthritis and prolonged back and joint pain. Declawed cats often
develop behavioral problems that lead to their being surrendered to
animal shelters where they are, for the most part, not adoptable.
Declawing is currently banned in nearly 10 cities in California and in
many countries around the world, including Switzerland, Israel and the
U.K. This bill seeks to ban such practice in New York State.
2017-18: A.595-A - Referred to Agriculture; S.3376-A - Referred to Agri-
2015-16: A.1297-A - Referred to Agriculture;S.5084-A - Referred to Agri-
This bill shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK
Cal. No. 476
2019-2020 Regular Sessions
January 14, 2019
Introduced by M. of A. L. ROSENTHAL, DINOWITZ, MOSLEY, GOTTFRIED, GALEF,
RAIA, LUPARDO, QUART, SEAWRIGHT, SANTABARBARA, RIVERA, D'URSO,
WILLIAMS, BLAKE, GLICK, CARROLL, BENEDETTO, STIRPE, GUNTHER, NIOU,
EPSTEIN, FERNANDEZ, BUTTENSCHON, ORTIZ, PERRY, WEPRIN -- Multi-Spon-
sored by -- M. of A. COOK, ENGLEBRIGHT, FITZPATRICK, GARBARINO,
LIFTON, McDONOUGH, PHEFFER AMATO, SIMON, SOLAGES, STECK, THIELE --
read once and referred to the Committee on Agriculture -- reported and
referred to the Committee on Codes -- committee discharged, bill
amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit-
tee -- reported from committee, advanced to a third reading, amended
and ordered reprinted, retaining its place on the order of third read-
AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to prohib-
iting the declawing of cats
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The agriculture and markets law is amended by adding a new
2 section 381 to read as follows:
3 § 381. Prohibition of the declawing of cats. 1. No person shall
4 perform an onychectomy (declawing), partial or complete phalangectomy or
5 tendonectomy procedure by any means on a cat within the state of New
6 York, except when necessary for a therapeutic purpose. Therapeutic
7 purpose means the necessity to address the physical medical condition of
8 the cat, such as an existing or recurring illness, infection, disease,
9 injury or abnormal condition in the claw that compromises the cat's
10 health. Therapeutic purpose does not include cosmetic or aesthetic
11 reasons or reasons of convenience in keeping or handling the cat.
12 2. Any person who performs an onychectomy, partial or complete phalan-
13 gectomy or tendonectomy procedure on any cat within the state of New
14 York in violation of the provisions of subdivision one of this section
15 shall be punishable by a civil penalty not to exceed one thousand
17 § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.