BOSTON — Senator Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford) has filed legislation on Beacon Hill that calls for eliminating the practice of declawing pet cats.

Senator Montigny filed S.169 An Act prohibiting inhumane feline declawing back in January.

The legislation would prohibit declawing and tendonectomy, unless for the medical need of the cat. Declawing a cat involves amputating the last bone of each toe, if performed on a human if would be like cutting off each finger at the last knuckle. Today, New York Governor Cuomo signed into law legislation banning declawing and similar practices, making New York the first state in the country to prohibit the practice.

“Declawing cats is a horrific procedure that puts the convenience and preference of humans over the health of cats. The public often fails to understand the medical reality of declawing, and relies on their veterinarian for guidance. We are responsible for protecting these beautiful, harmless creatures from a wide range of abuse. Massachusetts has an opportunity to again be a leader on animal cruelty issues, and any delay on banning this practice only harms more innocent animals. I have asked the committee to report this bill out immediately” said Montigny.

“This practice is absolutely unnecessary and inhumane. I applaud Massachusetts for their attention to this issue and urge the committee to report out this bill as soon as possible” said Dr. Jennifer Conrad, a veterinarian who founded the Paw Project.

The bill is in the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure.