UPDATE 11/26/2019: Animal cruelty has officially become a federal felony after President Donald Trump signed the bill into law on Monday afternoon.
The bipartisan bill, Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, criminalizes certain acts of animal cruelty. The bill was passed in the Senate by unanimous decision on Nov. 5 after being approved in the House in late October.
“Passing this legislation is a major victory in the effort to stop animal cruelty and make our communities safer,” Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said earlier this month when the bill, which Toomey sponsored along with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., passed in the Senate. “Evidence shows that deranged individuals who harm animals often move on to committing acts of violence against people. It is appropriate that the federal government has strong animal cruelty laws and penalties.”
The bill, introduced in the House by Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., and Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., is an expansion on the 2010 Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, which made the creation and distribution of “animal crushing” videos illegal.
It will make it a federal crime for “any person to intentionally engage in animal crushing if the animals or animal crushing is in, substantially affects, or uses a means or facility of, interstate or foreign commerce,” according to a fact sheet of the bill.
The historic law was also praised by the president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, Kitty Block, and the head of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, Sara Amundson.
“PACT makes a statement about American values. Animals are deserving of protection at the highest level,” Block said in a statement. “The approval of this measure by the Congress and the president marks a new era in the codification of kindness to animals within federal law. For decades, a national anti-cruelty law was a dream for animal protectionists. Today, it is a reality.”
“After decades of work to protect animals and bearing witness to some of the worst cruelty, it’s so gratifying the Congress and president unanimously agreed that it was time to close the gap in the law and make malicious animal cruelty within federal jurisdiction a felony,” Amundson said. “We cannot change the horrors of what animals have endured in the past, but we can crack down on these crimes moving forward. This is a day to celebrate.” (via ABCNews)
UPDATE 11/7/2019- The Senate unanimously passed the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, which criminalizes certain acts of animal cruelty.
The bipartisan bill, which was passed Tuesday afternoon, will now be sent to President Donald Trump’s desk for his signature.
“Passing this legislation is a major victory in the effort to stop animal cruelty and make our communities safer,” said Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., who sponsored the bill in the Senate along with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. “Evidence shows that deranged individuals who harm animals often move on to committing acts of violence against people. It is appropriate that the federal government has strong animal cruelty laws and penalties.”
The House of Representatives unanimously passed a new bill that makes acts of animal cruelty a federal felony. The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act was introduced by Florida congressmen Ted Deutch and Vern Buchanan and would allow federal officials to prosecute people who crush, burn, drown, or sexually exploit animals.
“The torture of innocent animals is abhorrent and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” Buchanan said. “Passing the PACT Act sends a strong message that this behavior will not be tolerated.”
The law does make exceptions for hunting, trapping, fishing, pest control, and scientific research.
People convicted under the new law will face fines and up to seven years in jail.
The Senate must pass the measure before it can be signed into law by President Donald Trump.
“This bill sends a clear message that our society does not accept cruelty against animals. We’ve received support from so many Americans from across the country and across the political spectrum,” Deutch said in a statement. “I’m deeply thankful for all of the advocates who helped us pass this bill, and I look forward to the Senate’s swift passage and the President’s signature.”