Geezer Butler, co-founder and bassist of the classic heavy metal band BLACK SABBATH, has voiced his support for a New York state bill that would outlaw declawing cats. Removing a cat's claws has been banned in Israel, Brazil and much of Europe but is legal in the United States, where nearly one out of four cat owners declaw their pets, usually to protect furniture from scratches. Assemblyperson Linda Rosenthal of District 67 reintroduced the bill in January to outlaw the practice, similar to the ban that is already in place in other major cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. Said Butler in a statement: "New York is one of BLACK SABBATH's favorite states to perform in because New Yorkers are smart, open-minded, and compassionate. "I am particularly delighted to be coming back to the Empire State after learning from my friends at The Humane Society of the United States that there is a bill before lawmakers that, if passed, would ban the practice of declawing cats. "Many know me as one of the founding members of BLACK SABBATH, but fewer likely know that I am what you might call a 'crazy cat person.' "My wife and I have many rescued cats and we have never dreamed of putting them through an elective, convenience surgery such as declawing. "Can you imagine having your fingers chopped off at the last bone? That is what the equivalent is for cats who are declawed. It is dreadfully inhumane! "A surge of veterinarians throughout New York support legislation to put declawing in the trash bin of history. I urge lawmakers to remain steadfast in those characteristics I admire most about New Yorkers and support the bill to ban the declawing of cats."