House of Representatives approves making animal cruelty a federal offense

Under the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, a violator could face up to seven years in prison.

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The House of Representatives unanimously voted to approve a proposed expansion of an animal welfare law they are calling the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act. Now the bill is passed along to the Senate for the final call. 

“Today’s vote is a significant milestone in the bipartisan quest to end animal abuse and protect our pets. This bill sends a clear message that our society does not accept cruelty against animals. We’ve received support from so many Americans from across the country and across the political spectrum. Animal rights activists have stood up for living things that do not have a voice,” says Florida CongressmenTed Deutch.

While most animal cruelty laws are handled at state level, the House felt it was time for there to be a federal penalty as well. The federal government currently only has laws that prohibit animal fighting and the creation and selling of videos depicting animal cruelty. 

According to The New York Times, this legislation would expand a 2010 law signed by President Barack Obama banning so-called crush videos that show animals being crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled or subjected to other forms of torture. In some of the videos, women with their faces hidden could be seen stamping on rabbits with spiked high heels. 

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