Animal rights activists with The Animals’ Battalion staged a protest at the annual convention of the New York State Veterinary Medical Society (NYSVMS) over its effort to block legislation that would outlaw declawing in New York state.
“Veterinarians who declaw are mutilating animals while masquerading as their caregivers,” said protest organizer Roberto Bonelli of Animals’ Battalion. “We will expose the hypocrisy of NYSVMS until it puts the welfare of its patients ahead of the extra profits made off of these cruel amputations.”
The dozen protesters were met by Marriott security guards and police who attempted to move them off of hotel property, but that didn’t stop them from conveying their message to the many veterinarians who were entering and exiting the hotel. Several of the them stated that they disagreed with NYSVMS pro-declawing position.
Contrary to public perception, cat declawing is not a simple nail removal. During the surgical procedure, veterinarians cut through nerves and ligaments to remove the last knuckle of each of a cat’s digits.
The Paw Project, an advocacy group that is working to ban cat declawing nationwide, states that the surgery causes many potential problems for cats, including prolonged joint and back pain, early onset arthritis, painful abscesses, infection, and behavioral issues which result in owners abandoning them.
According to the Paw Project, declawing is already banned or deemed unethical by professional veterinary organizations in many countries around the world, including Australia, Austria, Brazil, Croatia, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Two elected officials in NY State, Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal and Senator Joseph Griffo have introduced a bill (A.595/S.3376) in the state legislature to ban cat declawing. The NYSVMS is lobbying in opposition to the bill.