New York Is Officially the First State to Ban Cat Declawing

New York is officially the first state in the union to ban cat declawing.

The landmark bill passed the state legislature in June, but didn’t become law until Monday, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed it, The New York Times reported. It goes into effect immediately.

“Declawing is a cruel and painful procedure that can create physical and behavioral problems for helpless animals, and today it stops,” Cuomo said in a statement. “By banning this archaic practice, we will ensure that animals are no longer subjected to these inhumane and unnecessary procedures.”

The news was widely welcomed by animal rights groups.

“It’s official. New York is the most humane, cat-friendly, claw-friendly, state in the union,” the Paw Project, which advocates against the practice, tweeted.

New York Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, who first introduced the legislation in 2015, also celebrated its passage into law and hoped it would inspire similar legislation in other states. Massachusetts, New Jersey and California are among the states currently considering a cat declawing ban, The Associated Press reported.