ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — An effort to ban the declawing of cats in New York is moving through the state Assembly.

The chamber’s agriculture committee advanced the measure Tuesday.

If eventually passed, New York would be the first U.S. state to ban declawing. The act is already banned in Denver as well as 10 California cities.

Supporters hailed the move as a sign of positive momentum. The bill must still pass a second committee before going to the Assembly.

Animal welfare advocates and many veterinarians say declawing a cat is inhumane since it involves the amputation of a cat’s toes back to the first knuckle.

The state’s largest veterinary association has opposed the bill. It says the procedure should be allowed as a last resort for felines that won’t stop scratching furniture or humans.