Animal Cruelty Is Finally A Federal Crime: "America’s Beloved Pets Are Safer"

Animal Cruelty Is Finally A Federal Crime: "America’s Beloved Pets Are Safer"

President Trump signed the Protect Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, H.R. 724, into law, on Monday.

On Monday, President Trump signed the Protect Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, H.R. 724, into law. This new law, that was unanimously passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives, takes "the worst and most malicious acts of animal cruelty, including crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating and impaling," and makes into a federal crime in the country, as per the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). An expansion of the previously introduced Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, the PACT Act, now seals all loopholes which hindered them from prosecuting people who indulge in such malicious acts of crime, reports PEOPLE.



The Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act passed in 2010 merely made the creation and distribution of animal abuse videos illegal. The other acts of brutality performed against non-humans featured on videos were not addressed at the time reports Fox News. As a result, federal prosecutors could only go after the people who were involved in creating or distributing such videos of animal cruelty. Now that the PACT Act has become a law, federal agencies can go after people part taking in this heinous crime regardless of them being involved in its distribution or not. The law has enabled authorities to arrest such people as they have federal jurisdiction in the matter and wouldn't be bound by state laws. If the cruelty occurs on federal property, they have the power to prosecute those criminals as well.



According to a previous report, "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," will be considered a federal felony under this law. However, it will not be applied to people who slaughter/farm animals for the purpose of consumption or those who trap, hunt, and fish. It is limited to interstate commerce and federal property and will not in any way impede local animal cruelty laws or enforcement. If convicted of animal brutality, one would face federal felony charges, including fines and up to seven years in prison.


"America’s beloved pets are safer thanks to the passage of the PACT Act by President Trump and Congress," said founder of Creatures Great and Small and former Social Secretary for the George W. Bush administration, Lea Berman in a statement, according to PEOPLE. "It will finally be a federal crime to abuse or torture animals, a recognition of how valuable animals are to us, not only as pets but as service animals, law enforcement support, and loyal companions." The privately-funded charity, Creatures Great and Small, has been pushing to make this bill into federal law for the past year. 



Fortunately, they received support from both parties, "most notably from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Congressional Black Caucus, Hispanic Caucus, Freedom Caucus, and various moderate caucuses." Sponsored by Senator Richard Blumenthal (Democrat of Connecticut), and Senator Pat Toomey (Republican of Pennsylvania),  and Florida congressmen, Democrat Ted Deutch and Republican Vern Buchanan, the PACT act passed the House and Senate recently without disagreement. 



"We’re thrilled to see the first anti-cruelty statute in American history signed into law and applaud President Trump for providing the voiceless with a level of protection never seen before," said executive director at Animal Wellness Action, Marty Irby, who was present during the signing. "The PACT Act will allow federal authorities to crack down on the most egregious of animal abusers and help keep American pets safe from harm." Even the president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, Kitty Block, agrees that the PACT Act is an important step that would protect the rights of animals and people. 


"PACT makes a statement about American values. Animals are deserving of protection at the highest level," said Block 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."

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