ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- New York has become the first state to ban the declawing of cats.
The measure was signed into law Monday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, after lawmakers passed it this spring.
Animal welfare advocates and many veterinarians say the once-common operation is unnecessary and cruel, since it involves slicing through bone to amputate the first segment of a cat's toes.
New York's largest veterinary organization had opposed the bill, arguing that declawing should remain a last resort for felines that won't stop scratching furniture or humans.
Cat declawing is already illegally in much of Europe and many Canadian provinces, as well as in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver.
The legislator behind the ban, Democratic Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal of Manhattan, says it should be a model for other states.