Bipartisan bill could make animal cruelty a felony


Megan Wedhorn

Two Florida lawmakers, Democrat Rep. Ted Deutch, and Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan have re-introduced the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (the PACT Act). The bill was introduced in the past but was denied by former Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte. The goal of the act is to make animal cruelty a federal felony. The bill would make it to where those convicted of “crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling, and/or sexually exploiting animals” would face federal felony charges, and could face up to seven years in prison.

Putting an end to animal cruelty is a priority for Deutch and Buchanan. Buchanan posted a tweet that said, “The torture of innocent animals is abhorrent and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Protecting animals from cruelty is a top priority for me and I look forward to working with Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch on this important issue.”

In 2010, the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act was passed by Congress. This act made anything having to do with animal abuse videos illegal. However, it doesn’t outlaw other acts of cruelty, which means that other forms of cruelty are technically legal. If the bill for the PACT Act is passed, it would close the loophole in the 2010 Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act.