Bill in U.S. House seeks to make animal cruelty a federal felony


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – 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 two U.S. representatives from Florida have reintroduced 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,” said Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-West Boca, joins him in introducing the bill.

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 passed the bipartisan legislation, but the measure was blocked in the House by a former judiciary chairman, according to the newspaper.

“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 added.

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