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Animal Torture Now a Federal Crime


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It is now a federal crime to torture an animal. The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, or PACT Act, H.R. 724 was signed into law Nov. 25 by President Donald Trump.

“For many Americans, their pets are a part of the family—that’s been true in my house and that’s why the signing of this bill is such an important milestone,” said U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL), who led the H.R. 724 bill with Ted Deutch (D-FL). “I want to thank all of the animal welfare groups who worked so hard to help get this bill passed and signed into law.”

Specifically, the PACT Act prohibits extreme acts of cruelty when they occur in interstate commerce or on federal property. It also cracks down on sexual abuse of animals. While current federal law bans the sale of videos showing illegal acts of cruelty, it does not prohibit the underlying conduct.

The bill obtained support with 302 cosponsors in the House and 41 in the Senate.

“While Congress is gridlocked on so many issues, there is one issue of consensus: that animals deserve protection from malicious abuse,” said Holly Gann, director of federal affairs at the Animal Wellness Foundation, a Los Angeles-based private charitable group that has been lobbying and advocating for the bill’s passage. “The PACT Act lays a strong foundation to better protect some of the most vulnerable among us.”

 

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