Actor and animal advocate Ricky Gervais and his cat Ollie want New York lawmakers to vote for a ground-breaking law that would make it illegal to declaw cats. “How could anyone in their right mind declaw a cat or a kitten?” Gervais wrote in his statement that was posted on the Facebook page for the Paw Project. “I could never imagine committing such an injustice to my beautiful moggy (cat) however many stair carpets or sofas she likes to ruin. New York is one of the greatest most progressive places in the world and I hope to see it at the forefront of the humane treatment of all animals.”
The New York declawing bill would ban the procedure unless it is done to remove a tumor or for other medical reasons. It was introduced last year by Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, a champion of legislation to protect animals. Declawing or deknuckling of cats is already banned in many countries, including Australia, India, Spain and the United Kingdom, as well as seven cities in California, including Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Paw Project founder and veterinarian Jennifer Conrad led the fight to outlaw declawing in California. She is the founder of The Paw Project and director of a 2012 documentary of the same name that examines the harmful effects of declawing on cats. The New York Times called the film “a heartfelt documentary” that “will make any cat owner, and perhaps some fellow veterinarians think twice about declawing.”
“Declawing is not at all declawing—it’s actually de-knuckling. If it were just the claw, it might not be so horrible. But because it’s actually the entire knuckle, the last bone in the cat’s toe, it is really an amputation. It is incredibly painful, and it does no good for the patient,” says Conrad.