ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Monday banning the performance of declawing procedures on cats. New York now becomes the first state to ban the practice.

The ban takes place immediately.

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

The governor’s office says declawing involves the removal of the last bone of each of the toes on the front feet, as well as many tendons, nerves and ligaments which typically allow for the normal function of the front paw. The procedure can sometimes result in chronic pain or serious medical or behavioral issues.