Breaking! Florida Congressmen Vern Buchanan & Ted Deutch Introduce Important New Animal Cruelty Bill To Close Major Loopholes In Current Legislation

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Florida Congressmen Vern Buchanan and Ted Deutch introduced the “Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act” to outlaw and make it easier to prosecute those involved in the gruesome killing of animals.

Horrifically, in so-called “animal crush videos,” individuals brutally kill, mutilate, and torture small and defenseless animals as a perverse form of entertainment.

In 2010, Congress passed the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, which made the creation, sale, and distribution of animal crush videos illegal. But there are still major loopholes.

“The torture of innocent animals is abhorrent and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” Buchanan said in a statement. “Protecting animals from cruelty is a top priority for me and I look forward to working with Congressman Deutch on this important issue.”

Buchanan’s legislation will close those loopholes by prohibiting the underlying acts of torture themselves, regardless of whether or not a video is created. The PACT Act will amend the federal criminal code to prohibit the intentional acts of subjecting animals to serious bodily harm. Those convicted would face federal felony charges, fines, and up to seven years in prison.

“This is commonsense, bipartisan legislation to bring some compassion to our animal laws,” stated Deutch. “For many Americans, animal welfare is an important policy issue, and the idea of animal abuse is abhorrent. By building on state and local laws, Congress should act to guarantee a level of protection for animals across the country by criminalizing these inhumane acts. 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.”

The legislation has been endorsed by the National Sheriffs Association and the Fraternal Order of Policeas well as national animal welfare groups including the Humane Society of the United States.

Animal abuse can often be the precursor to other violent crimes, with one study finding that nearly 40% of animal abusers had committed violent crimes against humans.

An identical bill passed the Senate during the last session of Congress.

Sadly, hunting is among the exceptions noted in the bill. We believe that the so-called “sport” of “hunting” is a major loophole that needs to be taken out of the bill, there should be no exceptions to animal abuse or killing.

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