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House Passes Bill Making Animal Cruelty a Federal Felony

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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.


A bipartisan House bill making animal cruelty a felony has been unanimously passed and welcomed by animal rights activists and politicians alike.

ABC News reported that the Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT) was introduced by Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., and Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., to “Criminalize certain acts of animal cruelty.”

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 Act builds upon a law that was passed in 2010 that targeted videos being made depicting animal cruelty, known as animal crushing.

In a statement, Rep. Ted Deutch said, “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. I’m deeply thankful for all of the advocates who helped us pass this bill, and I look forward to the Senate’s swift passage and the President’s signature.”

The bill is expected to be passed through the Senate shortly and according to an article in the Washington Post will address cruelty to animals on a federal level, as videos depicting animal torture cross state boundaries.

If passed through the Senate the Post states and will outlaw, “Purposeful crushing, burning, drowning, suffocation, impalement or other violence causing “serious bodily injury” to animals. Violations could result in a fine as well as up to seven years’ imprisonment.”

Animal Wellness Foundation Director of Federal Affairs Holly Gann welcomed the new law and said in a statement, “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.”