House Passes Bill That Would Make Animal Cruelty A Federal Felony

House Passes Bill That Would Make Animal Cruelty A Federal Felony

The US House of Representatives unanimously passed the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, or PACT Act, making it illegal to subject animals to some forms of abusive behavior.

On Tuesday, the US House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill that makes animal cruelty a federal felony. The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, or PACT Act, is an expansion of the previously introduced law that was passed in 2010. Introduced by Florida congressmen, Democrat Ted Deutch and Republican Vern Buchanan, the bipartisan law prevents any form of abusive behavior against animals such as burning, suffocating, crushing, drowning, impaling. "The torture of innocent animals is abhorrent and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law," said Buchanan according to CNN. "Passing the PACT Act sends a strong message that this behavior will not be tolerated." 



The Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act passed in 2010 merely made the creation and distribution of animal abuse videos illegal as per a report from Deutch’s office. As a result, the underlying acts of brutality against non-humans which were shown in such video were not addressed at the time and so in order to seal all loopholes, The PACT Act was introduced to explicitly ban certain cases of animal abuse said Deutch according to Fox News. This act will allow authorities to go after animal abusers as they would have federal jurisdiction in the matter and wouldn't be bound by state laws. If the cruelty occurs on federal property, they would have the power to prosecute those criminals as well.



"Today's vote is a significant milestone in the bipartisan quest to end animal abuse and protect our pets," said Deutch in a written statement reports CBS News. "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. Animal rights activists have stood up for living things that do not have a voice." If the bill becomes law, it will prohibit some forms of animal cruelty, including impaling and sexually exploiting animals. Although the legislation contains exceptions for hunting, if convicted of animal brutality one would face federal felony charges, including fines and up to seven years in jail. 



"Protecting animals from cruelty is a top priority for me and I will continue to work with Congressman Deutch to get this important bill signed into law," said Buchanan. After the passage of this bill, the president of Humane Society Legislative Fund, Sara Amundson gave a word of thanks for the ones responsible for it. "Over the course of 30 years in animal protection, I have encountered terrible animal cruelties, but acts of intentional torture are the most disturbing because they demonstrate how some people treat the most vulnerable in our society," said Amundson in a written statement. "Reps. Ted Deutch (D-Fla) and Vern Buchanan (R-Fla) are tremendous advocates for animal protection, and we thank them for their leadership in closing this important gap in the law."



"These malicious acts deserve federal scrutiny and action. Federal prosecutors and law enforcement officials will finally have the tools they need to bring those responsible for cruelty to animals to justice," she added. Even the Animal Wellness Foundation Director of Federal Affairs Holly Gann remarked, "Most people are shocked to know that the U.S. does not have a federal animal cruelty law. Enacting this bill sends a signal that our nation has no tolerance for intentional cruelty toward animals." However, the PACT Act will not in any way impede local animal cruelty laws or enforcement, revealed lawmakers. 


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