House passes new bill that would make cruelty towards animals a federal crime

A new bill that would make cruelty towards animals an act of federal felony was passed anonymously in the House of representatives a week ago. 

The bipartisan Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, introduced by Representatives Vern Buchanan D-Fla., and Ted Deutch, D-Fla., will in effect make it illegal to abuse or torture animals. This includes drowning, burning, suffocating, impaling and other forms of torture.

Back in 2010, a bill called the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act was passed. The bill made the creation and distribution of animal “crushing” video materials illegal, according to Deutch’s office. The office stated that the underlying acts of cruelty against animals were not included.

Dutch stated that The PACT Act seals the remaining cracks by banning certain cases of animal abuse.

“Today’s vote is a significant milestone in the bipartisan quest to end animal abuse and protect our pets,” he said. “This bill sends a clear message that our society does not accept cruelty against animals.”

He added, “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.”

Last Tuesday, Dutch also tweeted that the legislation “is a major step to end animal abuse and protect our pets.”

Buchanan stated,

“The torture of innocent animals is abhorrent and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”

“Passing the PACT Act sends a strong message that this behavior will not be tolerated,” he added.

Should the bill be passed into law, those found guilty of animal torture would face felony charges, hefty fines and up to seven years behind bars.

“Most people are shocked to know that the U.S. does not have a federal animal cruelty law,” Animal Wellness Foundation Director of Federal Affairs Holly Gann said. “Enacting this bill sends a signal that our nation has no tolerance for intentional cruelty toward animals.”

Lawmakers said the PACT Act would not interfere with local animal cruelty laws or enforcement.

What are your thoughts on the PACT Act? Let us know by joining the conversation in the comments, and please share this article if you’ve found it informative. 

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