New York could become the first state to ban cat declawing

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New York would be the first state to ban the declawing of cats under legislation heading to a vote in the state Legislature.

   The Senate and Assembly are both expected to take up the bill on Tuesday.

   Declawing a cat is already illegal in much of Europe as well as in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver.

   Supporters of a ban in New York include animal welfare advocates, cat owners and veterinarians who argue the practice is cruel and barbaric since it involves the amputation of a cat's toes back to the first knuckle.

   The state's largest veterinary association has opposed the bill. It says the procedure should be allowed as a last resort for felines that won't stop scratching furniture or humans.