US President Donald Trump has signed an animal cruelty bill into law, making abhorrent acts of animal cruelty a federal crime punishable with fines and up to 7 years in prison.
The bipartisan bill, known as the Preventing Animal Cruelty And Torture (PACT) Act, was introduced in the house this year by two Florida lawmakers, representative Vern Buchanan, a Republican, and representative Ted Deutch, a Democrat.
The PACT expands on the 2010 law signed by Barack Obama that banned videos that show animals being crushed, drowned, suffocated, burned, impaled or subjected to other forms of torture. Now, intentional acts of cruelty shown in the videos are also felony offenses.
According to the bill, ‘animal crushing’ refers to ‘actual conduct in which animals, birds and reptiles are purposely crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury’.
President Trump revealed that the bill would stop people from sharing horrific footage of animal cruelty. “It is important that we combat these heinous and sadistic acts of cruelty.” He said.
Speaking to DailyMail, animal welfare advocate, Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law, said, “I could not be more excited for President Trump to take this historic step today, publicly signing into law a bill tackling the nefarious and unacceptable world of animal cruelty.”
“Our companion pets are family members, and our working dogs are our heroes, and any movement to signal and enforce a positive environment for these great animals is a step in the right direction.” She added.
The bill states exceptions to it including, slaughtering livestock, hunting, fishing, trapping and medical or scientific research.
Cases where the treatment of an animal would be ‘necessary to protect the life or property of a person’ are also excluded.
Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan of Florida, one of its cosponsors, said that ‘the torture of innocent animals is abhorrent and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Signing this bill into law is a significant milestone for pet owners and animal lovers across the country.’
Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch, also of Florida, added that ‘animal cruelty is no longer just unacceptable, it is now illegal. We can now finally say that animal abuse is a federal crime in the United States.’
Remember to share this article if you are an animal lover.