President Trump signs bill making animal cruelty a federal felony

National

WASHINGTON (WFLA) – President Trump officially signed a bill into law Monday making animal cruelty a federal crime.

Trump participated in the official signing ceremony for the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act in the Oval Office Monday afternoon.

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the bill that makes animal cruelty a federal felony earlier this month. The bill passed the House in October.

The so-called “PACT Act” specifically bans crushing, burning, drowning and impaling animals, among other things. It would also allow officials to go after suspected animal abusers who cross state lines.

According to its co-sponsor, Republican congressman Vern Buchanan, it would also close a big loophole. His office says the bill would specifically ban animal cruelty recorded on video.

Previous laws have criminalized creating and selling those videos, but not the acts of cruelty in them.

Another co-sponsor of the bill, Democrat Ted Deutch, says the legislation sends a clear message that our society does not accept animal cruelty.

“The torture of innocent animals is abhorrent and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” Buchanan said. “Protecting animals from cruelty is a top priority for me and I’m proud to work with Congressman Deutch on this important issue.”

The legislation has been endorsed by the National Sheriffs Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, and national animal welfare groups including the Humane Society of the United States.

Animal abuse can often be the precursor to other violent crimes, one study found that nearly 40 percent of animal abusers had committed violent crimes against humans.

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