From this day forward, anyone who maliciously harms an animal will be charged with a federal felony.
Previously, FBI and other law enforcement were only able to prosecute people who committed acts of animal cruelty on video. However, the loophole in the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act has been solved with the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act.
The Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act made it a crime to portray animal cruelty on video, but did not punish the act. Under the PACT Act, anyone found guilty of animal cruelty would face fines and up to seven years in prison.
President Trump just signed the bill making the PACT Act law. The new law makes crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating and impaling live animals, and other abuses such as sexually exploiting them a federal felony in all 50 states.
Reps. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) and Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) introduced the bill at the beginning of the year. The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate passed the bill unanimously. Animal advocates have been the voice for the voiceless and all their hard work has paid off.
Kitty Block, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States and Sara Amundson, head of the Human Society Legislative Fund, both attended the bill signing ceremony at the White House. “PACT makes a statement about American values. Animals are deserving of protection at the highest level,” Block said in a statement. “The approval of this measure by the Congress and the president marks a new era in the codification of kindness to animals within federal law. For decades, a national anti-cruelty law was a dream for animal protectionists. Today, it is a reality.”
“After decades of work to protect animals and bearing witness to some of the worst cruelty, it’s so gratifying the Congress and president unanimously agreed that it was time to close the gap in the law and make malicious animal cruelty within federal jurisdiction a felony,” Amundson said. “We cannot change the horrors of what animals have endured in the past, but we can crack down on these crimes moving forward. This is a day to celebrate.”