In the U.S. House of Representatives, a bill that would make venomous acts of animal cruelty a federal felony was unanimously passed.
A new set of tools was given by the bipartisan Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act to hunt down suspected animal abusers. The bill was made on a prior law that banned the creation of animal abuse videos that are immoral but won’t prohibit violence towards animals. The PACT Act aims to stop this kind of activity.
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) were the first to introduce this law, and in February, the Senate was introduced to the bill by a bipartisan group of senators.
This law is meant for “any person to intentionally engage” in the “crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating [and] impaling” of animals, including other immoral acts towards birds, reptiles, non-human mammals or amphibians, according to the fact sheet.
Deutch said in one statement: “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. Law enforcement officers have sought a federal overlay to help them stop animal abusers who are likely to commit acts of violence against people. And animal lovers everywhere know this is simply the right thing to do.”
71% of #domesticviolence victims said their abuser also attacked their pets, but did you know that cruelty against animals is NOT a federal offense? Today we voted to change that by passing the #PACTAct! pic.twitter.com/CngjbP0g5j
— Chellie Pingree (@chelliepingree) October 22, 2019
Rep. Buchanan was pleased that the bill has passed and stated: “The torture of innocent animals is abhorrent and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Passing the PACT Act sends a strong message that this behavior will not be tolerated.”
Advocates are also saluting this idea. The federal affairs director of the Animal Wellness Foundation, Holly Gann, stated: “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.”
The president of the legislative fund for the Humane Society, Sara Amundson, said that: “Animal cruelty is an indicator of social pathology and those who commit crimes against humans often start out by hurting animals.”
The U.S. House just passed the #PACT Act, legislation that I introduced with my colleague @RepTedDeutch to criminalize animal abuse. This important piece of legislation would make animal cruelty a federal offense. Great news for my fellow animal lovers! pic.twitter.com/fK4qAppXnK
— Rep. Vern Buchanan (@VernBuchanan) October 22, 2019
In another statement, she added: “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. 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.”