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NY lawmaker, animal advocate weigh in on potential cat declawing ban

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — As a ban against declawing cats is moving through the New York state legislature, the Broome County Humane Society weighed in on why declawing cats is so controversial.

“They actually remove the first knuckle of the cats paw. It’s definitely a surgical procedure that shouldn’t be taken lightly,” Amberly Ondria, manager of the Broome County Humane Society, said.

She said in addition to being painful, there are other behavioral reasons against declawing cats.

“Sometimes cats don’t respond well to declawing,” Ondria said, “they may still scratch. they’re going to be scratching at things, granted it’s not going to be ripping apart furniture but it’s an instinct they need to be able to express,” Ondria said.

While some view declawing cats as inhumane, Ondria said there are a few medical exceptions. She said cats are born extra large paws and should be declawed for health reasons.

The Humane Society is all for the ban but Democratic State Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D, 123rd District) said not everyone is on board.

“The Veterinarian Association is split on this issue. Some are very much in favor of this ban and others really want to have this as an option. We would think only in very limited circumstances should this be used because it’s so invasive,” Lupardo said.

Lupardo said the agriculture committee approved the bill and it has now moved onto the Codes Committee.

“Codes will look at potential penalties and I’m sure they’ll look if some exemptions ought to be built into the bill or not,” Lupardo said.

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