Lawmakers introduce bill to make animal cruelty a federal felony

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ORANGE, TX – SEPTEMBER 05: A rescued dog from a flooded home stands in a cage on a street in Orange as Texas slowly moves toward recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey on September 5, 2017 in Orange, Texas. Almost a week after Hurricane Harvey ravaged parts of the state, some neighborhoods still remained […]

A bill that would make acts of animal cruelty and bestiality a felony is making its way through the U.S. House of Representatives. 

The Orlando Sentinel reports Rep. Ted Deutch, D-West Boca, and Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota have introduced the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act. 

“The torture of innocent animals is abhorrent and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” Buchanan said. 

Under the legislation, anyone who partakes in the “crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating and impaling animals” could face up to seven years in prison. The same goes for people who sexually exploit animals. 

A similar bill, the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010, would have banned animal “crush” videos that show animals being crushed or abuse. The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed the bipartisan legislation, but the measure was blocked in the House. 

“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,” Buchanan said. 

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