Proposed law would make animal cruelty a felony across the U.S.
19 juin 2019
Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives re-introduced a bill last week that would make malicious acts of animal cruelty a felony nationwide. A person convicted of the crime could face a fine or up to seven years in prison, or both.
The bill, known as the Preventing Animal Cruel and Torture (PACT) Act, is co-sponsored by Democrat Ted Deutch and Republican Vern Buchanan. PACT would criminalize « crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating and impaling animals. » The measure would also address bestiality and other attempts to sexually exploit animals.
Deutch tweeted, « We will get this done. It’s bipartisan, common-sense policy that will protect our animals. »
His congressional colleague, Buchanan, also said that protecting animals from cruelty is a « top priority » for him.
« The torture of innocent animals is abhorrent and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law, » he tweeted.
The legislation contains exceptions for hunting, veterinary care, and actions necessary to protect life or property from a serious threat from an animal.
The Humane Society Legislative Fund supports the measure, noting that while most states consider certain acts of animal cruelty a felony, some penalties are still considered misdemeanors. The bill earned 284 bipartisan co-sponsors and more than 200 law enforcement endorsements in the previous session of Congress, according to the group. However, former Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) kept it from coming to the floor for a vote. Goodlatte is no longer in Congress and supporters of the measure are more optimistic about its chances of passing this time around.
A previous law to protect animals, the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, passed in 2010and outlaws producing gruesome videos of animal abuse.