“Animal cruelty is one of the most unfortunate and barbaric demonstrations of human beings manipulating ill-conceived notions of ‘power’ over other species.” – J. S.
Finally, a bill related to animal cruelty has been put forward by two Florida congressmen who want to make animal cruelty a federal felony.
Currently, each of the 50 states of America has laws which protect animals from abuse and torture. However, this is at a state level and things get blurry once the animal in question crosses state lines. That’s why Ted Deutch and Vern Buchanan, who are representatives of this proposed law, want for the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act to widen the scope for prosecution.
According to this bill, which has been endorsed by the National Sheriffs Association and the Fraternal Order of Police, an individual can be prosecuted for cruelty acts, such as follows: animal crushing, drowning, burning, suffocating, impaling or sexual exploitation. This way, under the PACT Act, persons who are convicted of the before-mentioned cruelties, would be charged with a federal felony, fines and a prison sentence of up to 7 years. However, the legislation contains exceptions for hunting.
According to CNN, the congressman Ted Deutch made a statement, saying:
This is commonsense, bipartisan legislation to bring some compassion to our animal laws.
We’ve acted in the past to stop the horrific trend of animal abuse videos; now it’s time to make the underlying acts of cruelty a crime as well.
Thank you both for leading the charge🙏🏻🙏🏻#PACTAct – PACT Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture
“Under the PACT Act, a person can be prosecuted for crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, and impaling animals and sexually exploiting them”
Let’s get this passed!@SpeakerPelosi
— Eli (@GillyandZia) January 28, 2019
While, according to People, the PACT Act has already passed the Senate two times already. Nevertheless, the proposed bill has yet to pass the House of Representatives.
Sara Amundson, who is the Humane Society Legislative Fund president, spoke for People, saying:
We have highly motivated bill sponsors who anticipate early movement due to its strong bipartisan support. In the last Congress the House bill had 284 bipartisan cosponsors, but was held up by a committee chairman who has since retired.
She also added:
The bill provides law enforcement with the tools it needs to crack down on egregious animal cruelty on federal property or in interstate commerce.
Animal cruelty isn’t self-contained by state but moves across state lines, so this bill is critical to stomping out crime. It’s supported by law enforcement, prosecuting attorneys and the Humane Society Legislative Fund.
In the 115th Congress there was overwhelming support for legislation protecting animals from abuse, but it never received a vote. Today, I reintroduced the PACT Act with @VernBuchanan and we will get this done. It’s bipartisan, common-sense policy that will protect our animals.
— Rep. Ted Deutch (@RepTedDeutch) January 23, 2019
Congressman @TedDeutch (D) and @VernBuchanan (R), both from #Florida, have proposed the PACT Act. Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act amends the federal criminal code to revise and expand provisions with respect to #animal crushing. https://t.co/iuexXH1HJ3 #AnimalWelfare pic.twitter.com/6YMwoAIgQK
— Oswego County Humane Society (@OswegoHumane) January 29, 2019
It is believed that the PACT Act will be based upon 2010’s Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, which prohibits creating and sharing sickening ‘crush videos’ of animals being tortured.
According to the Animal Welfare Institute website, The PACT is a crucial step towards stopping animal cruelty in a wider scope. But, since the place where the animal abuse has taken place is not always known, it can be difficult to bring such a case under state law:
[The Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act] was a crucial step to take. However, that law does not cover the underlying acts of animal cruelty themselves, which are generally offenses under state law subject to prosecution by the states.
However, since it isn’t always known where the actual acts of cruelty took place, it can be hard to bring a case under state law.
This is very important and long overdue legislation. Thank you, thank you.
— G Uitar (@G_uitar1970) January 29, 2019
Thank you, Congressman Deutch. 😻
— 🌸🌷🌸Mets🐈Optimist🌸🌷🌸 (@NotATweetster) January 29, 2019
We are firm supporters of the proposed bill and we hope it will finally become law very soon.