Two Florida congressman, Ted Deutsch and Vern Buchanan, have proposed a new bill that would make animal cruelty a federal felony.
The PACT Act would broaden the scope of animal cruelty across state lines. For example, authorities can go after violators because they have federal jurisdiction. And they can also prosecute criminals if the cruelty occurs on federal property.
“This is commonsense, bipartisan legislation to bring some compassion to our animal laws,” Rep. Deutch said. “We’ve acted in the past to stop the horrific trend of animal abuse videos; now it’s time to make the underlying acts of cruelty a crime as well.”
His congressional colleague, Buchanan, also said that protecting animals from cruelty is a “top priority” for him.
“The torture of innocent animals is abhorrent and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” he tweeted.
Previously, former Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) kept the bill from coming to the floor for a vote. Goodlatte is no longer in Congress and supporters of the measure are more optimistic about its chances of passing this time around.
Under the PACT Act, a person can be prosecuted for crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, and impaling animals and sexually exploiting them. If prosecuted, criminals could receive up to seven years in prison.
Here is a way to contact your Congress member and urge them vote for this very important bill. The animals need this.