In Washington, D.C., the Senate unanimously passed the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT) on Tuesday. In October, the House of Representatives also unanimously passed the bill which makes extreme acts of animal cruelty a felony.
The “Pact Act” addresses several acts of cruelty including intentional acts of crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating and impaling animals which expands the 2010 law that made “animal crushing” videos illegal. Current law prohibits animal fighting and criminalizes those who make and sell videos demonstrating animal cruelty.
Ted Deutch, D-Fla.,and Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., sponsored the bill and received overwhelming support from both parties in the House of Representatives. Senator Pat Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, and Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, received unanimous support in the Senate. The bill is now headed to the desk of President Trump.
Both law enforcement agencies, including the National Sheriff’s Association and the Fraternal Order of Police endorsed the bill citing the connection between animal cruelty and violence against people. The law, however would not interfere on the local level of animal cruelty laws and is limited to interstate commerce and federal property.
The law does not apply to anyone who slaughters animals for food or to those who hunt, trap and fish.
Offenders would face felony charges, with fines and up to seven years in prison.
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