Breaking! Animal Cruelty Is Now A Felony In The U.S. After President Signs The PACT Act Into Law
Animal cruelty is now officially a felony in the United States after President Trump signed The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act into law. This animal protection measure had previously sailed through the House of Representatives and the Senate with unanimous support.
Humane groups that worked for the bill’s passage are hailing the new law as a defining moment for establishing federal protections for animals. While all 50 states have felony provisions against animal cruelty, there was no federal ban against animal cruelty and torture before the PACT Act.
“PACT makes a statement about American values. Animals are deserving of protection at the highest level,” said Kitty Block, President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States in a statement. “The approval of this measure by Congress and the President marks a new era in the codification of kindness to animals within federal law. For decades, a national anti-cruelty law was a dream for animal protectionists. Today, it is a reality.”
“After decades of work to protect animals and bearing witness to some of the worst cruelty, it is so gratifying that Congress and the President unanimously agreed that it was time to close the gap in the law and make malicious animal cruelty within federal jurisdiction a felony,” said Sara Amundson, President of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “We cannot change the horrors of what animals have endured in the past, but we can crack down on these crimes moving forward.”
The PACT Act strengthens the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, which prohibits the creation, sale, and distribution of videos depicting extreme acts of animal cruelty. Now, federal law enforcement are able to prosecute the underlying acts of cruelty, regardless of whether the abusers created a video of their conduct.
Studies repeatedly show that there is a close link between extreme animal cruelty and violence toward people. By bringing charges against perpetrators of animal cruelty, we may be able to prevent individuals with a propensity for harming people from acting on those impulses.
“Enacting this legislation into law is a major victory in the effort to protect animals from abuse,” said Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa). “I am pleased President Trump signed the PACT Act into law so that the federal government can charge and prosecute those who torture animals. Getting this legislation across the finish line would not have been possible without Senator Blumenthal’s partnership and tremendous support from the Humane Society of the United States and numerous animal advocate organizations for nearly five years.”
“I’m grateful to see the PACT Act finally signed into law. The barbaric torture of animals has no place in a civilized society and should be a crime – and thanks to this new law, now it is,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn). “Senator Toomey and I worked together for years to ensure that this kind of despicable torture of animals is forbidden for good. I’m thankful for Senator Toomey’s partnership, our colleagues in Congress, and the tireless work of animal welfare advocates in seeing this bill over the finish line.”
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